Gordon D'Arcy: Ireland centre to retire after World Cup

Gordon D'Arcy is tackled by Australian pair Adam Ashley-Cooper and Ben McCalman
Gordon D'Arcy made 10 appearances for the British and Irish Lions

Ireland and Leinster centre Gordon D'Arcy will retire from professional rugby after the World Cup in October.

The 35-year-old, who made his Ireland debut 16 years ago, has won 81 caps for his country and formed a formidable centre pairing with Brian O'Driscoll.

D'Arcy has also helped Leinster to three Heineken Cup triumphs and four Celtic League/Pro12 titles.

"My decision has always been that I would leave at this time - after the Rugby World Cup 2015," he said.

D'Arcy, who made his senior international debut against Romania during the 1999 World Cup, has scored seven tries for Ireland.

The Lansdowne club player won the Grand Slam with Ireland in 2009 and the Six Nations title last year.

Gordon D'Arcy and Brian O'Briscoll celebrate winning the 2014 Six Nations title
Gordon D'Arcy and Brian O'Briscoll celebrate winning the 2014 Six Nations title

He played 10 times for the British & Irish Lions, on the tours of New Zealand in 2005 and South Africa four years later.

D'Arcy made his Leinster debut against Llanelli in September 1998 and has amassed 339 points in winning 260 provincial matches.

"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 I am making the decision for the right reasons," he added.

"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.

"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."

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