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Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 21 October, 2018

'You don't come to a club like Leinster unless you want to come and win trophies'

Scott Fardy is loving life at Leinster and the arrival of his first child has kept him busy during the international break.

Fardy speaking to the media at Leinster HQ this week.
Fardy speaking to the media at Leinster HQ this week.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

IT WAS A long climb to the top for Scott Fardy so it’s understandable that watching Australia’s November internationals evoked mixed emotions, but the truth is he has been too busy to even think about missing the green and gold jersey.

By leaving the Brumbies and accepting the offer of an end-of-career move to Europe, Fardy knew he would no longer be in the frame for international selection but that’s been the furthest thing from his mind over the last few weeks.

The birth of his first child, baby boy August, has changed things dramatically for the 33-year-old and his wife, Penelope.

“It’s been fantastic,” he says. “It’s life changing stuff. I probably didn’t realise how selfish I was before he came along and how much time I had on my hands.

“He’s obviously a fair time constraint on your life but it’s something that me and my wife are really enjoying. We wouldn’t really know what life is like without having him around now. It’s just this little imposter that came into our lives but no, it’s been fantastic.”

Although part of Fardy would liked to have be involved with Michael Cheika’s squad during their November schedule, he also acknowledges the fact that being at Leinster has given him the opportunity to devote more of his time to family.

“A little bit of both,” he says, when asked if he misses international rugby. “I do watch the games. I missed the Australian game on the weekend [against England]. I think if I was still playing international rugby, I probably would have missed the first six weeks of my son life.

“The opportunity to spend that (time) at home with him is fantastic. I wouldn’t trade him.”

And, he’s Irish qualified too?

“Irish-qualified, yeah. He’s a little Paddy,” Fardy laughs.

Scott Fardy Fardy pictured at Leinster's UCD headquarters this week. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Joking aside, the Fardys are settling into life in Dublin rather well.

The 30-time capped Wallaby has made a significant impact at Leinster, featuring six times in the opening block of fixtures and already we’ve seen the quality he has brought to the province.

“It’s everything I expected,” he continues. “There are some real quality players here at Leinster, I’m enjoying playing with them. I’m enjoying learning off them and enjoying my time here immensely.”

Relishing the new rugby challenge which this opportunity in Ireland brings, but also the change in lifestyle. This is a completely different world to Australia.

“I think I will try and use the breaks [in the season] to go and travel,” Fardy explains.

“Just because you have a baby, you’ve still got to get out and try things. We had a little look at Ireland’s countryside over the weekend. We just went down to Waterford. It’s a really nice area. Drove down there, it’s a bit cold at this time of year but you can still see how it would be nice in the summer.

“We obviously couldn’t get him a passport yet so we’re still trying to get that. But yeah, I think that’s part of living here – to experience this part of the world.

“When you are in Australia and New Zealand, you feel isolated. To get away, it’s and eight or nine hour flight so a two hour flight to the continent of Europe is not too bad for us.

“We’ll have a look at one or two places but obviously I’ve got to get my training in as well so I’m ready to for the games.”

And that’s the primary focus, with the Pro14 resuming this week with the visit of the Dragons to the RDS.

The corresponding fixture on the opening weekend of the season was Fardy’s Leinster debut and although Leo Cullen’s side emerged with a bonus-point win that day, he won’t be taking anything for granted on Friday.

Scott Fardy Fardy has played six games for Leinster and is in line to feature against Dragons this week. Source: Camerasport/Ashley/INPHO

“I think every game is a challenge. Even the last game we played against them, they pushed us all the way for the 80 minutes. There are no weak sides in this competition. Any team can beat anyone. We’re no different so it’s going to be a tough challenge on Friday.”

Rocky Elsom, Nathan Hines and Brad Thorn all filled similar roles as previous overseas players with a great degree of success, the trio central to Leinster’s European Cup winning teams in different seasons. Big boots to fill, then.

Fardy, for his part, knows that but doesn’t see the need to make his voice heard in the changing room, rather let his performances make the most impact.

“There are plenty of leaders here. They are obviously comfortable in their role. If I can assist them, I will but I think they are already leaders in their own right.
“To develop as leaders, they have got to keep leading. For me, I just help them when the senior players are away but it’s a good opportunity for these guys to develop their own personal leadership. In five or six years, they will be ready to do it.”

And there’s little doubt about what Fardy wants to achieve during his time at Leinster.

“I want to win,” he states. “Just win the next game I play and try to win trophies. It’s why any player plays rugby. The day I don’t want to win trophies, I won’t be playing anymore. You don’t come to a club like Leinster, unless you want to come and win trophies.”

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