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Gordon William D'Arcy (born 10 February 1980, in Ferns, County Wexford[1]) is a retired Irish rugby player. For most of his career he played at inside centre. He played for Irish provincial side Leinster for his entire professional career and was registered to club side Lansdowne.

Gordon D'Arcy
Date of birth (1980-02-10) 10 February 1980 (age 39)
Place of birthFerns, County Wexford, Ireland
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight14 st 4 lb (91 kg)
SchoolClongowes Wood College
UniversityUniversity College Dublin
Rugby union career
Position(s) Inside Centre
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Lansdowne FC ()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1998–2015 Leinster 260 (339)
Correct as of 15 August 2015
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2005, 2009
Ireland Schools
Ireland U-19s
Ireland U-21s
Ireland Wolfhounds
British and Irish Lions

Correct as of 15 August 2015

D'Arcy retired from rugby in 2015 having won three Heineken Cups, a Challenge Cup and four league titles with Leinster, two Six Nations titles with Ireland, including a Grand Slam in 2009, and travelled on two British and Irish Lions tours.[2][3]


D'Arcy was a promising fullback for schools side Clongowes Wood in the late 1990s, and on the eve of his Leaving Cert was called into the Irish squad for the tour of South Africa by coach Warren Gatland. However, because of his studies he declined the opportunity.[4] On leaving school he joined the Lansdowne Football Club and made his Ireland debut on 15 October 1999 as a substitute against Romania during the World Cup.

Following a falling out with his provincial coaches regarding his attitude – which almost drove him to retire from the game – D'Arcy was left out of the international setup for three years. His second game for his country came on 17 November 2002 as a late substitute in Ireland's 64–17 win over Fiji. He made a further three appearances as a substitute during 2003. He was not selected for the Irish squad for the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia, but was picked for the Leinster team during the absence of its World Cup players. It was then that he came into his own, playing some of the best rugby of his career at fullback/wing, where he displayed delightful skill in running from deep and finishing off the moves that he had started. After the World Cup, an injury to Brian O'Driscoll, his Leinster team mate, saw D'Arcy move to outside centre, where he made a great impression.

Owing to the further absence of O'Driscoll from the Irish squad for the first match of the Six Nations in that season against France, D'Arcy found himself in the number 13 jersey at international level. Such was his form that, on O'Driscoll's return, he kept his place, allowing the selectors to experiment with O'Driscoll at inside centre.

He was voted player of the Six Nations tournament in 2004 as he helped inspire his country to the Triple Crown for the first time since 1985. What most impressed supporters was his ability to wrong-foot the flat-defence off passes from O'Driscoll and to create space out of nothing; this was particularly appreciated in his performance against England at Twickenham. It seemed that a new type of centre partnership had been created, which superseded the grinding format preferred by international coaches, of using a crash centre at no.12 and ignoring the possibilities of quick offloads in the centre of the field. The new centre combination was also impressive in its hard and intelligent defence, which often converted into successful counter-attack. D'Arcy was nominated for IRB Player Of The Year in 2004

Despite an injury plagued 2004–05 season, D'Arcy was named in the British and Irish Lions squad for their 2005 tour to New Zealand. But his performances during the tour were generally poor, and he reputedly refused to play in the final test against New Zealand, though he vehemently denies this.[5] There were fears at that stage that his form during the 2003/04 season would prove to have been a flash in the pan. However, he has been back fully fit for Leinster and Ireland in the 2005/06 season and has impressed in a new-look, much more attack minded Leinster team.

D'Arcy played in all of Ireland's 2006 Six Nations matches, he beat more defenders than any other player, and showed his talent. His return to top form continued during the autumn international series where his performances against Australia and South Africa contributed to back – to – back victories for the Irish team. D'Arcy usually played at inside centre for Leinster and Ireland with O'Driscoll outside him. He played in all of Ireland's 2007 Six Nations matches, he was nominated for RBS Six Nations Player Of The Tournament in 2007. After sustaining a multiple fracture in his arm in the opening match of the 2008 Six Nations, versus Italy, D'Arcy missed the remainder of the season and only returned to Leinster in December 2008. He was a member of the victorious Ireland team that won the 2009 Six Nations Championship and Grand Slam.[6]

D'Arcy and Shane Horgan celebrate their 2009 Heineken Cup Final win

In May 2009, D'Arcy was named in the Barbarians squad to play England and Australia along with Ireland team mate Geordan Murphy and Leinster colleague Rocky Elsom.,[7] the Barbarians ended up beating England by 33 points to 26, with D'Arcy scoring one of the tries.[8] On 3 June 2009, D'Arcy was called up for the British and Irish Lions squad for the tour in South Africa due to injuries in the squad. He featured for Ireland against Fiji and South Africa during the 2009 November Tests, and started every game in the 2010 Six Nations. He started against New Zealand in the 2010 Summer Tests and scored 1 try, but a groin problem kept him out of Ireland's remaining test against Australia.[9][10] He earned his 50th cap against South Africa on 6 November 2010.[11]

D'Arcy[12] was named in the Ireland Rugby World Cup 2011 squad.[13] In the Australia vs Ireland match at the 2011 World Cup, D'Arcy and O'Driscoll set the world record for most appearances as a centre partnership together in international rugby, at 45 appearances. This broke the previous record set by Will Carling and Jeremy Guscott.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

D'Arcy regularly partakes in charity work, including work for Barretstown,, personal appearances at various children's hospitals in Dublin and work with Brainwave (an epilepsy society in Ireland) and the Irish MS society. He enrolled in UCD 1st year arts for the academic year 2007/08.

In July 2012, D'Arcy married model Aoife Cogan at St. Macartan's Cathedral, Monaghan.[15] The couple are also business partners in Form School, a reformer pilates studio on Grattan Street, in Dublin.[16] D'Arcy grew a beard which attracted much attention and was shaved off by Jonathan Sexton after Ireland won the 2014 Six Nations Championship.[17] In February 2015 it was announced that Gordon D'Arcy and his wife Aoife Cogan were expecting their first child and a baby girl, named Soleil, was born in May 2015.[18]

D'arcy now writes opinion pieces for the Irish Times focused on rugby.[19]


  1. ^ "Hey, D'Arcy". The Sunday Tribune. 15 February 2009. Archived from the original on 17 March 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2009.
  2. ^ "Gordon D'Arcy To Retire After Rugby World Cup". Irish Rugby. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Gordon D'Arcy: "No Substitute for Hard Work"". LineoutCoach. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  4. ^ Walsh, David (6 February 2005). "The Big Interview: Gordon D'Arcy". London: The Times. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  5. ^ "D'Arcy not about to fluff his Lions opportunity this time". Irish Times. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  6. ^ Roberts, Gareth (22 March 2009). "2009 Six Nations". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 March 2009.
  7. ^ Retrieved 13 May 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  8. ^ "England 26–33 Barbarians". BBC Sport. 30 May 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
  9. ^ "Lions call up Ireland back D'Arcy". BBC Sport. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
  10. ^ "Gordon D'Arcy Earns Much Deserved Lions Call-Up". 18 June 2009. Archived from the original on 7 June 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  11. ^ "Reluctant hero still striving to up the ante". The Irish Times. 3 November 2010.
  12. ^ "Reluctant hero still striving to up the ante". The Irish Times.
  13. ^ "Kidney announces RWC squad". TV3. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013.
  14. ^ "World record for O'Driscoll and D'Arcy". Doha Stadium Plus Qatar. 30 September 2011. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Shaping up for something new - model Aoife Cogan and husband Gordon D'Arcy open Pilates studio together". Irish Independent. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Aoife Cogan gives Gordon D'Arcy's fuzzy beard her blessing". Irish Independent. 21 December 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  17. ^ Irish Independent article on the beard
  18. ^ "Rugby legend Gordon D'Arcy and model wife Aoife Cogan are expecting their first baby". 1 February 2015. Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  19. ^ D'Arcy, Gordon. "Gordon D'Arcy: Informal leaders have huge role to play". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 August 2019.

External linksEdit