D'Arcy keen to stake claim on centre stage

Round-Up

Gordon D'Arcy, the experienced centre, insists there is greater depth to Irish rugby, from provincial to national level, than ever before.

D'Arcy has been recalled for Ireland's game today against Fiji at the Royal Dublin Society after losing out to Paddy Wallace for the autumn opener against Australia. D'Arcy, 29, who has suffered more than most through injury, finished the Grand Slam as first-choice centre and knows how quickly things can change.

"This is probably the most competitive season, from Leinster right through to Ireland," he said. "The so-called younger guys now have 15 to 20 caps, so they're not exactly novices. Not getting selected is always tough but I always find that spurs you on. I tend not to read too much into things. In my career, I've seen that three months can be a long time in rugby." D'Arcy is one of eight changes to the team that drew 20-20 with Australia and features in a Leinster-dominated backline, with only the Munster wing Keith Earls breaking the monopoly.

The South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has made four changes from the team beaten by France last weekend for today's game with Italy in Udine.

The loosehead prop Wian du Preez will earn his first cap while Adriaan Strauss replaces the injured Bismarck du Plessis. Schalk Burger is also out so Danie Rossouw starts on the flank, with Andries Bekker at lock. The prop Tendai Mtawarira and lock Victor Matfield will be used from the bench while Jean Deysel and Francois Hougaard are in line for first caps.

Ireland: R Kearney (Leinster); S Horgan (Leinster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt), G D'Arcy (Leinster), K Earls (Munster); J Sexton (Leinster), E Reddan (Leinster); T Court (Ulster), J Flannery (Munster), J Hayes (Munster), L Cullen (Leinster), P O'Connell (Munster), S Ferris (Ulster), D Leamy (Munster), J Heaslip (Leinster). Replacements: S Cronin (Connacht), T Buckley (Munster), D O'Callaghan (Munster) S O'Brien (Leinster), T O'Leary (Munster), P Wallace (Ulster) A Trimble (Ulster).

Fiji: N Ligairi (Brive); V Goneva (Vaturu), G Lovobalavu (Toulon), S Bai (Clermont Auvergne, capt), N Roko (Yokogawa); N Little (Bath), M Rauluni (Saracens); A Tarogi (Suva Highlanders), V Veikoso (Mavoci), V Seuseu (Korovuto), W Lewaravu (London Welsh), I Rawaqa (Fighting Bulls), A Satala (Gloucester), A Qera (Gloucester), A Boko (Tau). Replacements: I Ledua (FTG), G Dewes (Esher), L Nakarawa (Army), S Bola (Police), W Vatuvoka (Duavata), J Matavesi (Exeter), T Nagusa (Ulster).

Referee: M Jonker (South Africa).

***

*Freddie Burns kicked all the points to help Gloucester to a 12-9 victory against Leicester last night, while Worcester and Bath drew 12-12 in an error-strewn contest at Sixways.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain