Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
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Leinster keen to keep influential Scott Fardy beyond end of season
The 34-year-old is in superb form and has a strong influence within the squad.

SCOTT FARDY HAS made such an impact on Leinster that one of his team-mates even dressed up as him for their Christmas party.

“I did, I did,” laughs Josh van der Flier when he’s asked about it.

“I found an old Brumbies jersey at home and then saw a beard in the shops so I thought I had to do it. I found an old scrum cap and some Mizuno runners, so I was sorted!

“I think he was impressed. He looked at me twice, ‘You’re not dressed as me, are you?’”

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There can only be one Scott Fardy 💥

A post shared by Josh van der Flier (@joshvdf) on

To be fair, van der Flier’s get-up was a strong effort but it also hints at the admiration the openside and the rest of the Leinster squad have for Fardy.

The former Wallabies flanker joined the province on a two-year deal in 2017, meaning his current contract is set to expire at the end of the current season.

However, Leinster are keen to retain Fardy beyond this summer and it’s understood that there have been positive discussions with the 34-year-old about extending his deal.

Fardy, who has settled well in Dublin with his young family, stated his hope to extend his contract as early as the end of last season, telling The42:

“We will see what happens with that. There are a lot of things that have to happen with it being a centralised contract system.  It is completely out of my control. I’m enjoying it here in Dublin. I would like to stay, if I could. We will see what happens.”

While Fardy appeared to be suggesting that the IRFU’s desire to ensure opportunities for Irish-qualified players might count against him, it’s understood that the union would not have an issue with Leinster re-contracting the Australian.

Leinster’s coaching staff have been thrilled with the impact the 2015 World Cup finalist has made at the province.

“As a guy in this building, he’s been brilliant for us,” says assistant coach John Fogarty. “I’d imagine we’d want to be able to keep someone like him in this place for as long as we can. He’s performing at a high level and he offers so much experience to the group.

Scott Fardy Oisin Keniry / INPHO Fardy has had a strong influence at Leinster since his arrival. Oisin Keniry / INPHO / INPHO

“We’re constantly bringing players through and when you have personalities like him in the group, he’s invaluable in helping young players as well. He’s been really, really good for us and, hopefully, he can continue to be.”

Fardy, who only made his Super Rugby debut at the age of 27 and his Australia debut aged 29, has been missed by the Wallabies since his departure to Leinster.

While he would seem like exactly the kind of player Michael Cheika could use in this World Cup year, Leinster are hopeful of finalising a deal to ensure Fardy remains in Dublin to lead their squad during the World Cup next year, when a large group of their Ireland internationals are likely to be away in Japan.

Fardy’s influence on his younger team-mates since arriving in Dublin has already been important.

“He’s obviously a really smart player and a world-class back row, been to a World Cup final and played some incredible games with some incredible players,” says van der Flier.

“He’s really good around the breakdown and he’s been really helpful, especially at lineout time as well.

“Every area of the game, he’s got an input and he’s a bit of mentor really in helping a good few of us improve.”

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