It might only be a friendly but Gordon D’Arcy is reiterating the importance of Leinster’s clash with Gloucester today, urging the club’s young guns to put their hands up for the season proper.
Leinster host Gloucester at Tallaght Stadium and while D’Arcy will sit this one out, he knows just how key the exposure some of the younger guys will get with a number of the first team set to be away on international duty during the season.
This means that RaboDirect PRO12 responsibilities could fall on the shoulders of the likes of John Cooney and Ian Madigan, the duo who came off the bench in last season’s Heineken Cup victory starting at half-back against Gloucester in a youthful Leinster side.
And D’Arcy will be cheering on his teammates, knowing full well that these early season experiences could make all the difference come May next year.
“With success you are going to have a lot of guys hopefully being involved with the national team and there are a couple of guys who wont be available for certain parts of the season,” he said.
“That means that our academy and youngest guys will have huge emphasis put on them.
“This is the time of year that they can throw their hat into the ring
“We have a lot of good youngsters and a number of them have come through the ranks in recent years, Dominic Ryan and Ian Madigan to name just two.
“This is where they get to stake their claim and know what it means to pull on a Leinster shirt.
To know what that means and that you don’t just get given it you have to earn it”