The Word According To Gordon
What Gordon D’Arcy has been doing for the Irish Times over the past few months is giving an insight to the sport of Rugby union that no one has seen before. Past players have attempted to become sports journalists but no one has gone into the depth that the Clongowes man has. Every article is almost like a mini autobiography.
While D’Arcy always shows how he can relate to what is going on on the field he is also very critical of his own career when he needs to be. It should not be underrated how hard it must be for D’Arcy to write about his former teammates as he was in the squad no more than 2 months ago. Now all the former Leinster man can do is watch from the side-lines, as he did in the Olympic stadium against the Italians. His latest piece gives us an understanding on how professional players feel.
“They are thinking: ‘this is brilliant. This is why we get out of bed. This is why we train. All that mind-numbing mental preparation just to have half a percentage over our opponents feels worth it.”
The media claims that Ireland need to step up their game against the French but the former British & Irish Lion feels otherwise. He claims that it is all part of the plan and that Ireland couldn’t be more confident coming into this game. Although his latest article has provided the Irish fans with some confidence, it won’t stop them from biting their nails for the encounter against the French in Cardiff this Sunday.
D’Arcy not only speaks about what is current in rugby news but reminds us of the old. He touches on the battles rugby players have with injury and overcoming them. His post match analysis of the England vs Wales match should have been handed directly to the English coaching staff and maybe it would have kept them in the competition particularly their last match. Sadly, this wasn’t the case but perhaps a glance over his latest critique of their battle with Australia, prior to taking on the Uruguayans, would avoid further embarrassment.
What D’Arcy does best is display professionalism. He could’ve taken the Roy Keane route and be bitter toward past and present players, but his love for the game is stronger than that. He seems to have built a healthy relationship with everyone in the camp and there are plenty that hope his Irish Times cameo is not just a stint.
The 2004 IRB Player Of The Year nominee, allows current rugby players of all backgrounds to relate and learn from what he is saying. His insight to the variation of play and how coaches and players think is something that only someone who has been in the battlefield can write about.
However, his articles are clearly not pleasing every reader as we saw last week. The New Zealand Herald launched an attack on The D’Arcy articles;
“Gordon D’Arcy is proving significantly more incisive in print than he ever was on the field. Best known for not being anywhere near as good as Brian O’Driscoll, D’Arcy’s savaging of English league convert Sam Burgess in the Irish Times went around the planet in a nanosecond.”
The New Zealand paper went on to slate the Irish Rugby team’s history in past world cups. While it was expected that the articles would attract ‘haters’, what was surprising was that New Zealand were first to snap at the bait. Maybe they are beginning to feel threatened by Schmidt and the Irish wave that is swarming over the UK.
Needless to say, Gordon D’Arcy is providing rugby fans all across the nation with insights and stories to the modern day rugby player. His words provide a fantastic picture for players dreaming of one day putting on the green jersey. Although D’Arcy has hung up his boots, he is still very much attached to the sport itself and the Irish fans hope that this will continue for a long time.