”The Most Complete Centre” – Gordon D’Arcy On The Toughest Centres He Ever Faced
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As far as centres go, Gordon D’Arcy is one that will always be fondly remembered by Irish fans as one of the very best to wear a green jersey in midfield.
D’Arcy, who will be inducted into the Rugby Players Ireland Hall of Fame this weekend, played 83 times for Ireland in a hugely successful career that saw him win three European Cups as well as two Six Nations championships among other things.
He formed one of the best centre partnerships in the history alongside Brian O’Driscoll and was sorely missed when he hung up his boots back in 2015.
Having played at the highest level for so many years, D’Arcy came up against some of the best centres the game has seen. But who were the two toughest?
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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.
We asked him and he didn’t even have to think for a second.
“That’s very easy,” D’Arcy told us.
“There’s two of them.
“Yannick Jauzion from France and Ma’a Nonu [New Zealand]. Two absolute bulldozers.
“Jauzion was just incredible and was so hard to stop, with his offloading ability. France built so much off and around him. 6-foot-4 and probably 17-stone.
“And then you have Ma’a Nonu. Same height as me [5-foot-11] and still 16-stone. Probably the most complete centre in the modern game.”