Gordon D'Arcy's year of misery ended in triumph at Croke Park on Saturday when he grabbed the third try as Ireland downed France for the first time in eight attempts. D'Arcy hadn't played for his country for 12 months since he broke his arm against Italy in the opening game of last year's championship. A series of operations, including skin grafts from his backside, followed for the Wexford born center as he battled his way back to fitness, and finally a second-half substitute appearance at Croker. "There was absolute elation when I scored," admitted D'Arcy afterwards. "When you have had a period that has not gone your way then when you do get a break and things do start happening for you, you have to embrace them and enjoy them as well. "Declan Kidney put a lot on the line by selecting me because I've not played much rugby but the game is all about chances and you need to take them when you get them because they can pass you by. "I can only take the chances that are in front of me. I know there are no guarantees now. Paddy Wallace played absolutely fantastically until he got a knock on the head. So whatever happens I'm happy with my progress from a long injury. "I'm not taking anything for granted and just enjoying every game as it comes." Captain Brian O'Driscoll led the tributes to comeback hero D'Arcy. "I'm delighted for Gordon, I can't speak highly enough of him," said Leinster teammate O'Driscoll. "If people knew what he went through over the past year, he's had setback after setback. He got fit and then had another two months, only to get injured again and be knocked back another 2-3 months. "It's almost 12 months to the day since he injured himself so to score a try today. I couldn't be more pleased for anyone." Coach Kidney added, "Gordon is a top class international player who picked up a most unfortunate injury and has worked his way through it so we are delighted for him. "He has had to have a number of operations but he has come through them. He asked me what I wanted him to do and I told him just to go out there and play."
The Irish pub that became home base for 9/11 ground zero rescuers