D'Arcy out for rest of Six Nations


Rugby:  Ireland’s injury problems took another turn for the worse this afternoon with the news that Gordon D’Arcy will miss the remainder of the Six Nations championship. The Leinster centre had scans on a sore foot after returning to the Ireland training camp yesterday with the results revealing a "stress injury" that will sideline him for at least six weeks.

“D'Arcy was experiencing some discomfort in his right foot following the game against England,” the IRFU statement explained this afternoon. "This failed to settle down before the Ireland training session on Thursday and following a scan yesterday afternoon it was confirmed that D'Arcy has a stress injury to a bone in his foot."

D’Arcy’s absence means that Kidney will have to contend without at least nine first choice players, with injury concerns hanging over a number of others, when Ireland face Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday week.

D’Arcy joins Tommy Bowe, Paul O’Connell, Richardt Strauss and Simon Zebo on the long-term injury list while Jonathan Sexton and Mike McCarthy will miss at least the trip to Edinburgh and remain major doubts for the visit of France on March 9th. Factor in Cian Healy’s suspension – the loosehead prop is set to miss the next two matches subject to a likely appeal – and Ireland’s strength in depth, or lack thereof, will be severely tested over the coming month.

Fergus McFadden, D’Arcy’s Leinster teammate, is an obvious contender to come in to the midfield at number 12 although Keith Earls and Luke Fitzgerald will also come into the equation. Both are more accustomed to playing on the wing but have experience of playing in the centre at either provincial or international level.

Paddy Wallace, a late replacement for D’Arcy for Ireland’s ill-fated third test in New Zealand during the summer, is unlikely to be involved as he continues to recover from a leg injury of his own.

This latest setback is another major blow for Ireland’s championship aspirations with the trip to Murrayfield, never the happiest of hunting grounds for Irish sides, becoming more daunting with each passing day. Currently fourth in the table, Ireland remain well in contention but with their current injury problems hopes of securing a rare Six Nations title are rapidly diminishing.

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