Irish coach Declan Kidney must be happy that Gordon D’Arcy is back on course to resume international duties after completing his third full game for Leinster.
The 2005 British & Irish Lion is now unbeaten in three games since returning to the Leinster line-up over the Christmas period after recovering from a broken arm against Italy in last season’s Six Nations championship.
Even though he has been easing his way back into things on the wing, the former midfield foil to Brian O’Driscoll now looks ready to press for a place in Declan Kidney’s Irish squad, and maybe even further Lions honours, in 2009.
D’Arcy launched his comeback on the right wing in the victory at Ulster last month and has since helped the Dubliners beat Connacht and Cardiff Blues. Saturday night’s thrilling 21-20 win over the Blues at the RDS proved he is ready to step up in intensity.
The 2004 BBC Sport Player of the Six Nations, D’Arcy is one of the most potent attacking weapons in the northern hemisphere and at his peak formed an often unstoppable centre pairing with O’Driscoll.
Looking forward to his return from injury he was clrear about the objectives for irish rugby in 2009.
“We want to win the Six Nations championship. In 2009 we have the big two, France and England, again at Croke Park, so it’s going to be tough,” said D’Arcy.
“The 2009 Six Nations will be a tough tournament. Wales are on a high going into next year and I think we just have to go out and play as well as we possibly can.
"In the next couple of years there’s going to be a turnover in players for this group, this special group of players that we have.
“We just have to put back-to-back performances together and be very single-minded. Hopefully Declan Kidney will bring that to the table.”