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Fardy ‘Honoured’ To Take Up ‘Fantastic Opportunity’ With Leinster

Fardy ‘Honoured’ To Take Up ‘Fantastic Opportunity’ With Leinster

Leinster’s newest arrival Scott Fardy says he wants to make the most of a ‘fantastic opportunity’ to join the province as they redouble their efforts in pursuit of GUINNESS PRO14 and Champions Cup silverware this season.

Scott Fardy, the 39-cap Australian international forward, has arrived for pre-season training with Leinster ahead of the start of the 2017/18 campaign. Leo Cullen said at the time of his signing in March: “While he has played a lot of rugby in the back row, we have signed Scott as a second row and believe he will complement the second row options that we already have here in Leinster.”

Fardy, who turned 33 last month, arrives after finishing his sixth season with the Brumbies in Super Rugby where he chalked up 82 appearances for the Canberra-based side, making 75 starts and scoring nine tries.

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He is no stranger to Dublin having toured here with Australia twice in recent years, playing at blindside flanker when the Wallabies defeated Ireland 32-15 at the Aviva Stadium in November 2013, while he missed out on selection for last November’s 27-24 loss to Joe Schmidt’s men.

It is clear that Fardy is looking forward to getting stuck in at training and he was impressed by the set-up at Leinster HQ in UCD. “Unbelievable facilities here. The players have been very friendly, I’ve only spent a few days here, back into training tomorrow. I’m looking forward to complementing what’s a pretty amazing squad already,” he told Leinster Rugby TV.

“I’ve been in Dublin a few times before and loved the city, and it’s a prestigious club. Joining a club like Leinster is just a fantastic opportunity and the way the Irish set-up is, only a few (foreign) guys get to play here, so I’m just honoured to be one of those guys.”

It is the beginning of a new chapter in Fardy’s career, but he is no stranger to making fresh starts following previous stints with the Waratahs, Western Force and Japanese outfit Kamaishi Seawaves. He was a firm fans’ favourite at the Brumbies – receiving the the Fan’s Choice Stallion of the Year award in 2016 – and he left the club from the Australian capital having made lasting memories.

“The Brumbies gave me a lot. I’m very grateful for the six seasons I spent there. They gave me my first opportunity to play Super Rugby and from there came Test rugby, so I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity I got there. They got me to where I am today, and I’m grateful for Leinster to give me an opportunity now.”

The 6ft 6in forward, who is a former apprentice carpenter, is eager to experience the colour, passion and noise of the home support at the RDS and the Aviva Stadium this season, with Leinster set for some juicy ties in Conference B of the newly-enlarged GUINNESS PRO14. Meanwhile, they have been paired with Exeter Chiefs, Glasgow Warriors and Montpellier in Pool 3 of the Champions Cup.

“That’s part of the reason I’ve come here to play European rugby – to play in places like the RDS, in front of packed houses and lots of pressure and all that stuff. It’s what rugby is all about and I’m looking forward to it,” added Fardy, who is keen to sample the local golf courses too in his downtime.

The Sydney-born player has joined up with Leinster ahead of a busy pre-season for Cullen’s men with a trip to Perpignan on Friday, August 11, followed by the Bank of Ireland pre-season friendlies against Gloucester at St. Mary’s College RFC on Friday, August 18, and Bath at Donnybrook on Friday, August 25. For more information on these games, visit leinsterrugby.ie.