Leinster’s Gordon D’Arcy determined to extend Ireland career

Leinster centre Gordon D'Arcy says he wants to extend his Ireland career despite Brian O'Driscoll's plans for retirement

Over the past decade Gordon D’Arcy and Brian O’Driscoll have become synonymous with the Irish national side, setting a world record for the most appearances as a centre partnership.

And with O’Driscoll due to retire from all rugby at the end of the season, making the coming Six Nations his last, his Leinster club colleague admits thoughts of his own future have been weighing on his mind.

But D’Arcy is determined to give his all for his country during the coming campaign, and potentially carry on until the World Cup in 2015.

And he plans to meet with new Ireland coach Joe Schmidt and the coaching staff at Leinster to see exactly where he fits into their plans.

“I have to speak to Joe,” confirmed D’Arcy. “Am I in his plans for the World Cup? Where do Leinster see the squad going? There are a huge amount of things.

“I am contracted to the end of the season. I’ve spoken to Leinster. In and around Christmas I will have a chat with them, and they are pretty happy with that as well.”

D’Arcy missed both of Leinster’s season-ending cup finals in 2013 after suffering a calf muscle tear that also ruled him out of Ireland’s summer tour to the US and Canada.

But the 33-year-old, who was voted Six Nations player of the tournament in 2004 and helped Ireland to claim the 2009 Championship and Grand Slam, believes he still has something to prove at the highest level.

“Obviously, it was disappointing to miss the two end-of-year games,” he told the Irish Independent. “But I’ve been around long enough and missed very few big, important matches. You win some and lose some on that front.

“The flip side of that is I got a great holiday, plenty of time off my feet and the fitness guys here had a brilliant programme ready and waiting for me when I came back in. Everything being everything, I couldn’t have asked for a better last three or four months’ preparation.

“[I want] to win as many trophies as we can, get into the Irish team and deliver consistently. That is one thing I have – not struggled to do – but there has been interruption with injuries and bits and pieces.

“I might have been playing well and there would be some sort of disruption. I just want to be consistent this season at the highest level I can play at. If I’m doing that, hopefully, I can make decisions easy for coaches that are picking.”

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