Rugby star Gordon keeps on winning

RECENTLY engaged Irish rugby player Gordon D'Arcy has brought kudos to his county, province and country.

The affable and easygoing Ferns native is a formidable Irish rugby inside centre and is registered to Lansdowne RFC and plays for provincial and Magners League side Leinster.

Last week the 31-year-old Leinster ace proposed to his model girlfriend Aoife Cogan on holiday in Menorca.

Born in February 1980, Gordon got his first taste of rugby under the eye of James O'Connor Snr when he was a child player in Wexford Wanderers. He went on to be a promising full-back for schools side Clongowes Wood, and on the eve of his Leaving Cert in the late 1990s he was called into the Irish squad for the tour of South Africa by coach Warren Gatland. Because of his studies he had to decline that opportunity.

He joined Lansdowne after leaving school and made his Ireland debut on October 15, 1999, as a substitute against Romania during the World Cub. His second outing came in November 2002 and he made three further appearances as a sub during 2003.

He was not picked for the Irish squad for the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia but was picked for the Leinster team during the absence of its World Cup players. From here he came into his own showing some delightful skills as a fullback and wing.

After the World Cup, an injury to Brian O'Driscoll saw him move to outside centre, where he made a great impression and he went on to be voted player of the Six Nations tournament in 2004. He was also nominated for IRB Player of the Year in 2004.

His 2004-05 season was injury plagued, but he was named in the British and Irish Lions squad for their 2005 tour to New Zealand. He went on to play in all of Ireland's 2007 Six Nations matches and was nominated for RBS Six Nations Player of the Tournament that year.

He was a member of the victorious Ireland team that won the 2009 Six Nations Championship and Grand Slam, and again in 2009 he was called up for the British and Irish Lions tour. He also recently won with Leinster in the Heineken Cup.

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