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Shoulder issue prevents D'Arcy's return after RWC omission, say Leinster

Leo Cullen says the 35-year-old is contracted until the end of October.

LEINSTER HEAD COACH Leo Cullen says a shoulder problem is preventing Gordon D’Arcy from lining out for Leinster after he was left out of Ireland’s 31-man World Cup squad.

Gordon D'Arcy with Glyn Hughes Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The veteran centre’s omission for the global tournament signalled the end of his international career, barring a shock call-up as an injury replacement in the coming months, but he is contracted to the IRFU until the end of October.

Though the 35-year-old has a clearly-defined plan for life post-rugby and indicated in an interview published by the Irish Times on Saturday that his time in the game is now at an end, Leinster insist they want to benefit from D’Arcy’s experience during the World Cup period.

The Wexford man was back in the Leinster set-up for a friendly against Moseley two weeks ago after spending the pre-season with Joe Schmidt’s Ireland. D’Arcy was not involved in last weekend’s defeat away to Edinburgh as the Pro12 season got underway, however, though Cullen says that was simply down to a shoulder issue.

It’s great having his experience,” said Cullen in UCD this afternoon. “He’s had a problem with his shoulder, has Gordon. He’s being assessed at the moment and that’s why he missed out at the weekend.

“Hopefully it won’t be too long-term because he’s running out of time! He is still working away with his rehab. He was seeing a specialist and had a scan last week and he will see the specialist this week again.”

With D’Arcy set up for retirement with a job outside rugby awaiting, as well as his business interest in The Exchequer, Cullen confirmed that there will be no late attempt from Leinster to convince the centre to stay on into 2016.

Gordon D'Arcy Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The Leinster head coach did underline that D’Arcy is contracted “until the end of October.” Still, given D’Arcy’s own words, it would be something of a surprise to see him line out for the province again.

Meanwhile, Cullen confirmed that both Tom Denton and captain Kevin McLaughlin were replaced during the loss to Edinburgh on Friday night due to head injuries for which they both continue to be assessed.

Leinster are hopeful that McLaughlin and Denton may clear the return-to-play protocols for concussion in order to face the Cardiff Blues in the RDS on Saturday evening (KO 5.15pm).

Rhys Ruddock is “getting closer” after breaking his arm on the Emerging Ireland tour during the summer, while Mick Kearney has “been on the pitch training with the team” following toe and ankle surgery in the off season.

The lock is expected to make his comeback to full training within the next month.

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Murray Kinsella

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