Gordon D’Arcy On The IRFU’s Crafty Contract Talks & Why O’Mahony Must Be Retained

Give him what we wants.

Former Ireland, Leinster and Lions centre Gordon D’Arcy has urged the IRFU to open their chequebook and give Peter O’Mahony whatever he wants in terms of his new contract.

O’Mahony is not happy with the deal put on the table by Irish Rugby, with English and French clubs reportedly prepared to double what they have offered the Munster captain.

Writing in his regular column with The Irish Times, D’Arcy believes the IRFU have more than enough cash to pay their top players.

There are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know about the IRFU. Like the true state of their finances.

They have consistently said they pay the leading 60 or so Irish players close to market value. I’d like to see actual evidence.

The IRFU’s wealth is an unknown. Rarely do my head and heart sing in unison but both are saying they have more than enough to keep the players they need.

In terms of his own experiences, D’Arcy reveals he was shafted by the IRFU on a number of his contracts.

I do know a little about this. I signed six IRFU contracts lasting 17 years. A two-year deal aged 18, another two-year at 20, a three-year at 24 followed by one at the zenith of my earning power, age 27, before a plummeting spectacularly contract age 30. The sixth deal, age 33, was another significant drop, a take it or leave it offer.

You climb up the stairs only to come screaming down the elevator shaft.

D’Arcy says he took a huge pay cut when he was Ireland’s starting inside centre in 2010/11, with the IRFU playing their hand perfectly/

My fifth contract was tough to swallow. I took a hefty pay cut in 2010/11 despite being at the peak of my powers, despite being the starting Ireland number 12 heading into a World Cup season.

The IRFU played their hand perfectly, I was happy to stay and they accurately valued a depreciating asset. The reason I was given was old age. I was about to turn 31. Form was clearly not a consideration. 

In terms of O’Mahony, D’Arcy says he is a generational player that must be kept.

O’Mahony is a cultural driver, the rightful heir to follow Gaillimh, Axel and O’Connell. The IRFU needs to find the figure that makes Pete feel valued. They need to ignore the year he missed with a knee injury. Focus on his lineout ability, his leadership, his sheer presence through the dark days last season.

He is a generational player.

You can read his piece in full here, where D’Arcy also discusses CJ Stander’s contract situation.

 

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