Gordon D’Arcy On The Surprising Position He Started Off In Before Eventually Becoming A Centre
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Most people are aware of the fact that Gordon D’Arcy started out as a fullback in the professional game before a few injuries at Leinster saw him move into the centre where he would become a fixture for both club and country for many years to come.
But did you know a young Gordon D’Arcy started out as hooker? Yes, the same Gordon D’Arcy who formed one half of arguably Ireland’s greatest ever centre partnership was once a front-row.
And only for some advice from his old schools coach he might never had made the switch into the backs in the first place.
Speaking on this week’s episode of the Up & Under Podcast, D’Arcy recalled how he used to strap his hands like legendary Wallabies winger David Campese and wander out in the backline regularly.
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Episode 9 has arrived featuring Gordon D'Arcy, Jamie Heaslip and Caelan Doris. 🎧🎙 –Jason & Jamie Heaslip look back on the Irish provinces in the PRO14 over the weekend and look forward to the European finals. 🏆 –Gordon D'Arcy on who should start in midfield for Ireland and the two best centres he's ever faced. 🤔 – Caelan Doris on the number eight he has looked to model his game on and what rugby must do to become a truly global sport. 😮 – Dissecting Andy Farrell's 35-man Ireland squad for the Six Nations. 🧐 – Joe Schmidt's new World Rugby role and the magic of the Bledisloe Cup. 😍 – Plus much more. Available now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more.
His coach then pulled him aside one day gave him some solid advice.
“I started as a hooker,” D’Arcy told us.
“I actually met my coach from school [recently] and he reminded me that even though I played as a hooker I used to get my hands strapped like David Campese.
But Keith Wood would have been the inspiration I would have modelled an awful lot of my game on playing at that age.
“Eventually it came to a head and with much frustration from my coach who came to me and said, ‘Look, if you’re going to stay out at 15 like Keith Wood, you might as well become a 15!’”
“I turned to centre quite late, it like was a career change at 23 just because Brian [O’Driscoll] was injured and we needed a stop gap 13.”
You can listen to the full Gordon D’Arcy interview on this week’s episode of Up & Under Podcast here.