British & Irish Lions
D'Arcy receives Lions call-up
June 3, 2009
Gordon D'Arcy has been called in to the British & Irish Lions squad © Getty Images
Ireland centre Gordon D'Arcy has been called in to the British & Irish Lions squad as they continue their tour of South Africa, with the tour management concerned about injury problems throughout the backs division.
While no player will be sent home from the tour both Keith Earls and Riki Flutey are carrying knocks, opening the door for 2005 tourist D'Arcy to join the squad after representing the Barbarians in their victory over England at Twickenham last weekend.
D'Arcy has enjoyed a successful season after making his return from a broken arm, first helping Ireland to the Six Nations Grand Slam before starting alongside Brian O'Driscoll as Leinster clinched the 2009 Heineken Cup at Murrayfield.
He has 41 caps for Ireland and won a Test cap for the Lions in the controversial 'home' Test against Argentina at the Millennium Stadium in 2005.
"Gordon has been called up due to the fact that we have had a few injury concerns in the backs," explained head coach McGeechan. "While the injuries are being treated by the medical team we felt it prudent that we call up Gordon to provide us with extra cover in midfield."
"Due to the short nature of this tour we have to be prepared for every eventuality. An extra back at this stage will provide the extra depth to cover the existing injuries plus any further injuries we may encounter.
"Gordon showed in the European Rugby Cup Final and the recent Barbarians match against England that he is back to his best. He was on our reserve list and we had no hesitation in calling him up to the squad as he is an extremely experienced player who has played 41 times for his country.
"He was also a British & Irish Lion on the 2005 tour to New Zealand where he played six provincial matches. He earned a Lions' Test cap in the match against Argentina in Cardiff prior to that tour. His partnership with Brian O'Driscoll for Leinster and Ireland is a proven one and can only benefit the Lions' squad here in South Africa."
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