GORDON D’ARCY admits he is itching to play a competitive game of rugby now he is finally pain-free after a season of playing through injury.
The Leinster, Ireland and Lions centre knows, however, that he must wait for the consent of his bosses before he can do so.
With the World Cup looming, the IRFU will dictate how many games the top players partake in this year.
D’Arcy won’t comment on whether he thinks it’s a wise move that he’s “not allowed” play for Leinster against Cardiff this week but the 30-year-old, who played in the 1999 World Cup, makes no bones about his desire to get going.
“You don’t get paid to train and I’m not overly mad on training” said D’Arcy at a Guinness promotion for responsible drinking at the RDS yesterday. “I’ve done my pre-season. Now I’d just love to be playing.
“I had a couple of hip operations and completed my tests; I haven’t felt this good now since I came back from breaking my arm.”
The World Cup is an exciting prospect but with a whole new set of rules to get used to, it’s another reason why “I’ve got to get back playing”.
“Not playing this week is a real disappointment.
“It’s hard because if anyone knows how my body is, I do. I know I play better with the amount of games I play.”
It’s not the players’ place to decide though he insists, revealing that he finds out a week in advance whether or not he’ll be lining out. And so, he can tell us, he will be making his seasonal bow next weekend.
He says he could tell us too when he’s going to call it quits but with a giant grin on his face, declines to do so. There was nothing funny about under-performing while playing through the pain barrier though and the relief of finally going under the knife in Australia after the summer test Down Under is palpable.
“I tore my groin but it was figured that Brian needed a rest after the Six Nations so I played the bulk of the matches. I was playing at 60-70% to get through games.
“I was playing injured and hurt predominantly every week so I wasn’t really able to train and I was taking things slow.
“When someone hits you on the side, on the groin, it feels like someone is sticking the needle in.
“I tore the groin in the last 15 minutes of the last 6 Nations game against Scotland and then tore it again against Munster the next week, and I tore it regularly for the next three months – I tore it every couple of weeks.
“I wasn’t able to train or do weights, just going from game to game getting injections into my pubic bone. But I was on a downward slope at that stage, there was something badly wrong due to the accumulation factor.
“The doctor said I probably had it for a year and a half so it was just getting progressively worse and on a real downward slope.”
That’s all in the past though and now he’s looking forward to working with new Leinster coach, Joe Schmidt.
“He’s got a great outlook on life, great outlook on rugby. He just wants more from us which is a challenge, and I’ve always risen to challenges.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved