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Former Dublin GAA star Declan Darcy to join Leo Cullen’s Leinster rugby coaching set-up

New role: Former Dublin football coach Declan Darcy. Photo: Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE


Declan Darcy is set to take up a coaching role with Leinster rugby, has learned.

The former Dublin and Leitrim player has been lined up for the position of performance coach under Leo Cullen and is expected to sign before the beginning of next season.

Darcy was a key part of Jim Gavin’s Dublin management team, working as defensive coach between 2013 and 2019, as they went on a spectacular run of success that saw them win six All-Irelands, including five in a row between 2015 and ’19, losing just one championship match in seven years.

Before that, he captained Leitrim to just their second Connacht title in 1994 before switching his allegiances to his native Dublin in 1998. Darcy moved into coaching immediately after his inter-county retirement in 2003, when he and Gavin brought the Dublin U-21s to their first All-Ireland title.

Darcy is understood to have visited the Leinster rugby set-up in an informal capacity over recent months but it’s understood he has since been offered a role in Cullen’s staff for next season.

It is expected now that he will sign at some stage in the coming weeks and, in doing so, become the latest GAA player to link up with the province. In 2007, Armagh’s Enda McNulty was recruited by Michael Cheika to the role of performance coach, while Dublin’s 2011 All-Ireland-winning captain Bryan Cullen worked as Leinster’s Academy S&C coach between 2011 and 2016.

The development ends speculation that Darcy had been lined up to take over from Dessie Farrell as Dublin manager. Farrell’s three-year term ended with Dublin’s All-Ireland semi-final loss to Kerry and, as yet, there has been no indication whether he intends to seek an extension.

Darcy has been tipped as a likely future Dublin manager but that seems unlikely now, in the short-term at least, given his imminent appointment with Leinster.

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