AN OVERSEAS SIGNING to rank alongside the likes of Rocky Elsom and Brad Thorn, Australian Scott Fardy says he would like to stay at Leinster beyond his initial two-year contract, but acknowledges ‘it is completely out of my control.’
Fardy, the hardened Wallaby who has added real steel to the Leinster pack, has made a real impression at the province both on and off the field, with team-mates united in their praise for his contributions.
The 33-year-old, primarily used in the second row but deployed on the blindside flank in recent weeks, arrived at Leinster last summer and has made 20 appearances this term, producing consistently excellent performances.
Fardy was phenomenal during Leinster’s run to a fourth Champions Cup title, formidable in the line out, working tirelessly on both sides of the ball and adding real nous to Leo Cullen’s pack, particularly in the semi-final win over Scarlets when he was named man of the match.
Already Fardy — who was nominated for EPCR player of the year — ranks alongside Elsom and Thorn, both of whom left lasting legacies at the club having been key protagonists in their European triumphs of 2009 and 2012 respectively.
“We have such a fantastic group, I was just proud of the effort of everybody,” he says of victory over Racing 92 in Bilbao. “I saw the amount of talent here was very special and when you see that talent harnessed the right way, there are endless possibilities for it.”
A big part of Fardy’s success on the field has been down to how well he has settled into the new environment and life in Dublin, with his wife, Penelope, giving birth to the couple’s first child before Christmas.
Like Kiwi James Lowe, he says the players, staff and supporters have made him feel very welcome and the support the club receive from all 12 counties is ‘something special.’
“I think we played in front of over 150,000 in the last three games in Europe,” he continued. “That is special for me. I thoroughly enjoyed that process, being in Dublin and the people of the province.
“With the 12 counties, you get that support everywhere you go. That is a special part of playing here.”
On his future beyond the 2018/19 season, Fardy added: “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 am enjoying it here in Dublin. I would like to stay, if I could. We will see what happens.”
With a year still remaining on his contract and a Pro14 semi-final to come this weekend, Fardy’s focus is on helping Leinster complete a historic double, something the province hasn’t been able to achieve in the past.
“Winning is a key focus for the group and the Pro14 is part of it too. We have to be ready to go on Saturday,” he said.
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