Gordon D’Arcy is set to end his rugby career after this Autumn’s World Cup.
The Leinster and Ireland centre has put pen to paper with the IRFU, but it is only a four month contract extension.
The 35-year-old was a notable absentee when Leinster announced a list of contract renewals in April.
D’Arcy did not make the squad for Ireland’s final Six Nations and, with Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne establishing themselves as Ireland’s first-choice centre partnership, his international career appeared to be at an end.
This contract extension means the veteran Wexford man can work toward possible inclusion in the Ireland World Cup squad.
This would give him a chance to add to the 81 caps he has earned since making his Irish senior debut in 1999.
D’Arcy released a statement on leinsterrugby.ie this morning.
“I am taking this opportunity to announce that I will be retiring from professional rugby at the end of October,” he wrote.
“It is a decision that I have not come to lightly but one that sits very easily with me and indeed with my wife, Aoife, and we are confident that I am making the decision for the right reasons.
“My decision has always been that I would leave at this time - after the Rugby World Cup 2015 - and I would like to thank Leinster Rugby and the IRFU for their support in facilitating this process which began last summer. I am so proud, fortunate and honoured to have represented my province and country for 17 seasons but I am leaving on my terms which is how everyone would wish to end their professional rugby careers.”
His statement continued: “It is still hard for me to get my head around the fact that I will not be pulling a jersey on again after October.
“While the blue of Leinster and the green of Ireland stand out for most people, nothing would have been possible without the solid foundations built on Saturday and Sunday mornings in Wexford Wanderers, then nurtured in Clongowes and of course in later years in Landsdowne. Throughout it all, I have been honoured to have played with an array of talented players, be coached by great coaches and to have played for the best supporters in the world.
“It has always been an honour to represent my country. I hope to continue that over the coming months and help to achieve something with this very special group of players and staff at the Rugby World Cup.
“I'm looking forward to supporting and enjoying the continued success of Leinster over the coming years. That being said I will genuinely miss being a Leinster and Irish Rugby player.
“I have loved every moment of it.”