“One of the attributes that Darcy has is his physicality, he brings intent in everything he does and has excellent set-piece skills, particularly at the lineout”: former Brumbies coach Dan McKellar, 2018.
Born in the small north Queensland town called Babinda, Swain grew up in Cairns before he was scouted by Brisbane Boy’s College and offered a scholarship to complete his secondary schooling. After school Swain’s progress stalled. “I was labelled soft by academy coaches when I was in Queensland,” Swain later said. “I was in the system, but there were three to four other blokes, who are now contracted at the Reds, who coaches thought were better than me.”
As a result, Swain made a life-changing decision in 2016 to pursue his footballing career in Canberra. In doing so he followed the path of many Brumbies before him - “an overlooked talent from a northern state given a chance in the nation's capital to flourish.” Swain said, "I didn't get a look-in up north and that put a bit of fire in the belly. The opportunity to come down here and snag a contract (with the Brumbies academy) and learn, and then get to play” was too great an allure to ignore. In 2017, Swain captained the Brumbies U20s, played for the Australian U20s and wore the Canberra Vikings strip in the NRC.
The following year, Swain made his Super Rugby debut against the Jaguares before he joined the full Brumbies squad ahead of the 2019 season. The opportunity to learn from Rory Arnold and Sam Carter then played an integral role in raising Swain’s game to the next level. The post-RWC’19 departure of Arnold, Carter, Izack Rodda and Harry Hockings coupled with an injury to Caderyn Neville and the release of Blake Evener kicked open the door for Swain to push his claim for higher honours.
In 2021, Swain was one of three uncapped players to debut in the first Test of the home series against France in Brisbane.
2017 Represented Australian U20s in the Oceania Championship
2021 Swain won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Matt Philip in the 55th minute of the 23-21 first Test win over France at Suncorp. He made his first run-on appearance, alongside Lukhan Salakaia-Loto in the third Test, 33-30 win over Les Bleus in Brisbane. Swain collected 10 caps, five as a starter and five as a replacement over the course of the season.
2022 He was capped in seven Tests during a season that was interrupted by two separate suspensions. The first for two weeks after he head butted English lock Jonny Hill and the second when handed a six-game ban over a dangerous cleanout on New Zealand inside centre Quinn Tupaea.