D'Arcy in Ireland's Six Nations squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

D'Arcy in Ireland's Six Nations squad

22/01/2009 06:43:03 AM Comments (0)

Star centre Gordon D'Arcy is set for a return to the emerald green jersey after being included in Ireland's squad for the Six Nations after almost a year on the sidelines.

D'Arcy, 28, only resumed playing for Leinster last month after breaking his arm in the opening match of last year's championship against Italy.

But his form has been sufficiently impressive to earn a recall and he will compete with Luke Fitzgerald for a place alongside Brian O'Driscoll in the Irish midfield.

Head coach Declan Kidney has also named seven uncapped players in his 39-man squad as he seeks to build on what was an important 17-3 win over Argentina in Ireland's last outing, in November.

The victory over the Pumas ensured Ireland retained their place in the top eight of world rugby's rankings and would be seeded for the 2011 World Cup.

"The core group of players who were part of the November squad have maintained their form but it is also pleasing to be able to bring in players who are really developing this season like (uncapped Ulster pair) Darren Cave and Tom Court as well as more established players who have performed well over the last number of weeks," Kidney said.

The other new faces in the squad are Munster's Ian Dowling, Jonathan Secton and Cian Healy from Leinster, Ulster's Ryan Caldwell and Mike Ross, who plays in England for Harlequins.

Ireland begin their campaign by taking on France at Croke Park on February 7.

"The November was mission accomplished from a ranking point of view and the win against Argentina, although not the prettiest game anybody may have seen, was vitally important," Kidney added.

"The France game is another step above that as they can bring so much to their game and are incredibly dangerous in this tournament."

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