D'Arcy agrees new Leinster deal


Rugby:Fresh from his try-saving tackle on Wesley Fofona that helped Leinster reach the Heineken Cup final yesterday, Gordon D’Arcy had further cause for celebration this morning with the news that he has agreed a new contract with the IRFU to remain with the province for another two seasons.

The 32-year-old, who has won 68 Ireland caps and made over 200 appearances for Leinster, put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him in Dublin until the end of the 2014 season.

"Gordon is a born and bred Leinster man and since his debut in 1998 he has been a highly consistent performer for Leinster,” Leinster coach Joe Schmidt said this morning. “His competitiveness and ability have had added huge value both on and off the field.

“We're delighted that Gordon will be extending his long association with his home province and I am confident that he will continue to make a positive impression both on and off the field."

The Ireland centre had a poor Six Nations campaign but the return of Brian O’Driscoll to Leinster from a long-term injury has coincided with an upturn in D’Arcy’s performances. His defensive effort at the Stade Chaban Dalmas against Clermont was immense and the veteran is now on the brink of claiming a third Heineken Cup title in four years.

“Gordon is a wonderful servant for both Ireland and Leinster,” added IRFU chief executive Philip Browne. “ I am delighted that he has committed himself to playing in Ireland and is another indicator of the successful policy of keeping as many of our top players here.”

D’Arcy’s new deal is just one of 18 announced by the province this morning with skipper Leo Cullen, scrumhalves Isaac Boss and Eoin Reddan and fullback/winger Isa Nacewa all extending their current contracts.

Backrow Kevin McLaughlin has been rewarded with a new three-year deal while youngsters Andrew Conway, David Kearney and Ian Madigan have each signed two-year extensions.

Leinster will bring in two new faces for next season with lock Tom Denton arriving from Leeds Carnegie and tighthead prop Michael Bent joining from the Hurricanes in New Zealand. Both forwards, who have agreed two year deals, are Irish qualified already.

“By swiftly concluding these deals, it enables us to plan ahead,” Schmidt added. “The process of recruitment can be quite drawn out, but we are delighted to announce these new extensions as well as welcoming Michael and Tom, who are two highly rated forwards who will add to the competitiveness in our pack over the coming seasons.”

Leinster renewals:Leo Auva’a – 2 years, Isaac Boss – 2 years, Fionn Carr – 1 year, Andrew Conway – 2 years, John Cooney – 1 year, Leo Cullen – 1 year, Gordon D’Arcy – 2 years, Aaron Dundon – 2 years, Mark Flanagan – 1 year (Development), David Kearney – 2 years, Brendan Macken – 1 year, Ian Madigan – 2 years, Kevin McLaughlin – 3 years, Isa Nacewa – 1 year extension, Eoin Reddan – 2 years, Rhys Ruddock – 2 years, Thomas Sexton – 1 year (Development), Heinke van der Merwe – 1 year.

Newcomers:Michael Bent – 2 years, Tom Denton – 2 years.