Rugby World spoke to the self confessed coffe fiend about clumsiness on the pitch, dream travelling ideas and his easily embarrassed nature maiking him an easy target for practical jokes.
RUGBY WORLD: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen or heard on the pitch?
GORDON D’ARCY: It has to be Jerry Flannery going to tackle someone against Italy and then nose-diving into the ground in front of his feet, using his face to break his fall. We looked at it on the video later – forwards, backwards, in slow motion – and he just goes face first into the ground as he tries to tackle this massive guy! Generally people who fall over when no one’s around them or trip themselves up make me laugh, although I trip myself up a lot too.
RW: What’s your favourite joke?
GD: My girlfriend’s pleaded with me to stop telling it, but I can’t help it. The first time I told her she said it was the worst joke she’d heard. Tiger Woods has changed his name – to Cheetah.
RW: Do you have any phobias?
GD: I really don’t like heights, clowns or needles. The clowns one comes from watching Stephen King’s It when I was eight years old. I snuck downstairs and the door was half open so I watched it through the hinges. Sadly, needles are something I have to deal with all the time.
RW: What’s your dream holiday?
GD: Backpacking around South America. I went to Argentina and Brazil for a month when I broke my arm and it was brilliant. I like France and Ibiza too but I just like to go as far away as possible. Sitting on the beach and whiling away the hours reading a book is great. I like to get the furthest away from rugby as possible.
RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?
GD: The Dalai Lama. There would be plenty to talk about.
RW: What couldn’t you live without?
GD: Probably music.
REM, Jimi Hendrix and a future Barista…
RW: So what’s the best gig you’ve been to?
GD: REM’s live practice sessions at the Olympia. They did five nights and they were reading songs off a laptop, some they hadn’t sung for 12 years. It was great to sit and watch them rehearsing, stopping and asking if they were all happy with that one and so on.
RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
GD: To be able to stop time. It would be great craic because you could just stop everything, then move people and things around.
RW: Who are the jokers in the Ireland squad?
GD: It’s a constant battle – everyone slags one another non-stop. I don’t know if it’s because we’ve known each other for so long but Brian O’Driscoll is able to read me brilliantly and I’m terrible at comebacks so I’m like a lamb to the slaughter. I’ll go bright red and he’ll say, ‘I’ll just warm my hands up’, putting them up near my face.
RW: Any practical jokes you can share?
GD: My car’s been egged a couple of times at Leinster. It happened to about six of us and we didn’t know who it was, but about three months later John Fogarty and Chris Keane admitted it. I’ve got plans to get them back – the wheels and cogs are in motion!
RW: If your house was on fire, what three things would you save?
GD: I’d have my missus on my shoulder and after that everything is replaceable.
RW: Who would you invite to a dream dinner party?
GD: Jimi Hendrix, Barack Obama would be really interesting and someone else musical, Janis Joplin.
RW: Would you have a jam session?
GD: I haven’t got a note in my head but it would be an interesting mix.
RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?
GD: I’d like to have my own business and be self-employed, maybe a restaurant or a café. I could make the coffee – I’m a coffee fiend. As long as I’m earning enough to get by I’ll be happy.
RW: How do you want to be remembered?
GD: With a smile on my face.
Learn more about Gordon’s teammates at Leinster…
and at Ireland…