10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
D'Arcy sustained a serious arm injury in last February's Six Nations win over Italy at Croke Park. It took a serious of operations, plenty of patience and work away from the pitch for the Wexford man to get back to this level of rugby.
His Leinster colleague O'Driscoll was particularly chuffed to see him back in the green jersey.
"I'm delighted for him. I can't speak highly enough of Darce. If people knew what we went through over the last 12 months, getting setback after setback," he said.
"He'd get himself fit and then he'd be told it would be another two months, get himself fit again and be told it would be another two or three months.
"To see him back on an international pitch, almost 12 months to the day (of the injury), and scoring tries. I couldn't be more pleased for him."
D'Arcy himself played down the significance of his return to the Ireland squad and his role in notching Ireland's third try against the French.
"It was a big game and it was very important for us to win our first game in the Championship and beat France," said the replacement centre.
"The try - I get the name on the scoresheet but it came from very hard work from the forwards. The six or seven phases beforehand sucked their pack in.
"We converted the scoring chance which is something we talked about, that we have to convert our chances when we get them."
France made it particularly difficult for Ireland to come out on the right side of this result, snapping back at the hosts' heels with a Maxime Medard try and six points from the boot of Lionel Beauxis. But there was to be no repeat of Croke Park 2007.
Pointing to Ireland's heroic efforts in defending their try-line in the dying minutes, D'Arcy said: "That just showed the strength of character in the team and the willingness. And a big thing is that we learned from our mistakes of two years ago."
From a personal point of view, how satisfying was it for the 2004 Six Nations Player of the tournament to be back?
"I'm back playing rugby and I'm very happy now with where I am.
"I was glad I was able to repay Declan (Kidney) because he took a bit of a gamble by putting me on the bench. It's just nice to be back playing rugby."
And D'Arcy insisted that with the confidence gained from this win, Ireland could go on to improve even more in the coming weeks in terms of attack play and finishing off scoring chances.
'I think there's be a lot made of try-scoring and Leinster and Ireland not putting away chances.
'I think there's a mixture of a couple of things. We're still getting used to these new ELVs.
"I think the second half of the season you'll see an improvement from everyone when it comes to scoring - because we're six months more used to these new rules.
"Even today there was a marked improvement in how players were running onto the ball. It was great to see the likes of Brian running onto the ball and he looked unstoppable at times."
The Irish coaching staff's approach, in backing the players to take the right option, has helped in that regard and D'Arcy also gave special mention to Ireland's forwards whom he said were 'immense.'
"Any coach, particularly Declan, says if you think it's on, just do it. And if you believe you're doing it 100%, more often than not it's going to come off.
"The groundwork was laid today up front. Stephen Ferris, Paul O'Connell and Wally (David Wallace) were just smashing lads left, right and centre.
"(Sebastien) Chabal and (Imanol) Harinordoquy were barely in the game. When you get a team on the back foot like that and it gives us front-foot ball - that's how you win games."