Ospreys closing in on Leinster centre D’Arcy

GORDON D’ARCY is being lined up by the Ospreys for a shock move to Wales.

The Leinster, Ireland and Lions centre’s contract expires this summer and the ambitious Welsh region are interested in the star.

Grand Slam winner D’Arcy, 30, has spent his entire career in Dublin and lifted the Heineken Cup last season with Leinster. But it’s understood he feels the time is right for a new challenge and has witnessed the huge success of Ireland team-mate Tommy Bowe, who joined to the Ospreys in 2008.

D’Arcy, capped 41 times, is a proven match-winner and has been one of the top centres in Europe for the past six years.

He formed a lethal partnership for club and country with Brian O’Driscoll and was Six Nations Player of the Tournament in Ireland’s Triple Crown successes in 2004 and 2007.

He also twice toured with the Lions in 2005 and again in 2008 when he played alongside Ospreys stars James Hook, Mike Phillips and Shane Williams.

It would be a major coup for the Welsh side to land such a prolific player as they look to build a squad capable of conquering Europe.

Under current rules, D’Arcy would take the overseas spot of Filo Tiatia, who is retiring and one of eight players leaving the Ospreys.

The decision by the Ospreys to chase another inside centre will also raise doubts over a possible return for Gavin Henson, who commanded the No 12 jersey before taking leave following injury.

Ironically, the Ospreys will be hoping D’Arcy is on the losing side this week against Munster. The Welsh finished above Munster in the final Magners League standings so would win the right to host the Grand Final at Liberty Stadium, if they beat Glasgow on Friday night.

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