Anthony Michael D'Arcy
- 609Wallaby Number
In three short years of Test rugby, Tony D’Arcy proved himself a world class prop forward. He was highly skilled in the dark arts of scrummaging, mauling and rucking. Born in Port Moresby, D’Arcy was sent to Brisbane’s St Joseph’s College, Nudgee, as a boarder. He took some time to find his best rugby position and played at flanker in the U14s before a stint at fullback in the 15s and 16s. Success in the U16 and U17 GPS shot put appeared to be the springboard for him to discover the front row and he played in the school’s prized 1st XV.
He transferred to Southport State High School for a year but returned to complete Year 12 at Nudgee. At 1.84m and 106kgs D’Arcy made such a huge impact in schoolboy rugby that he made the Queensland U19s and was chosen for the unbeaten 1977-78 Australian Schoolboy team to the UK, Ireland, France and Japan. D’Arcy found himself behind Wallabies Stan Pilecki and Chris Handy in the pecking order for a spot in the Queensland side and despite his somewhat limited exposure to senior representative football, he was named in the Wallaby team to tour Argentina in late 1979.
The following season he toured Fiji and in something of a surprise selection made his Test debut in Suva. Pilecki and Handy were then preferred for the first two Bledisloe Cup Tests however a stunning performance for Queensland when they beat New Zealand for the first time in 87 years saw D’Arcy force his way into the side for the third and deciding international in Sydney. Australia won that match 26-10 to take the series 2-1 and record the Wallabies’ first ever successful defence of the Bledisloe Cup.
In 1981 D’Arcy was the premier front row forward in the country and toured with the Seventh Wallabies to Britain. Handy said that D’Arcy’s performances on that tour were quite phenomenal. Over a five week period he scrummed magnificently against Ireland’s Phil Orr, one of the best loosehead props in the world. He then played loose head against the great Graham Price of Wales. In the Scottish international, he was pitted at tighthead against the redoubtable Ian Milne and he remained at tighthead against England’s powerful front row of Gary Pearce, Peter Wheeler and Colin Smart. D’Arcy acquitted himself with distinction and arrived back in Australia as one of the successes of a largely disappointing tour.
In 1982 D’Arcy was one of nine Queenslanders to make themselves unavailable for the tour to New Zealand. Later that year D’Arcy, with his best rugby years seemingly ahead of him, switched codes to play rugby league with the Penrith Panthers. His premature departure was a huge blow to Australian rugby and that loss was not resolved until the arrival of Argentine powerhouse, Enrique ‘Topo’ Rodriguez. Tony D’Arcy played 10 Tests for Australia in a three-year international career.
Represented Australian Schools against Ireland Schools, Wales Schools and England Schools.
D’Arcy won his first Test cap at tight head prop alongside Bill Ross and Stan Pilecki in the 22-9 victory over Fiji in Suva. He picked up a second cap on the loose head side with Declan Curran wearing the No.3 in the 26-10, 3rd Test victory against New Zealand at the S.C.G.
D’Arcy started all six Tests of the season. He played loose head in partnership with Chris Carberry and Curran in the two home Tests against France and was with them again against Wales. D’Arcy shifted to tight head alongside Carberry and John Meadows for the matches with Ireland, Scotland and England.
He played his final two tests in combination with Pilecki and Ross in the two home Tests against Scotland.