"I needed to accept being gay myself before I could address it with others. I have great friends in rugby but I didn’t know how they would take it.”
He added: "My experience, since coming out though has been entirely positive. I have realised that anyone who cares about you, just wants you to be happy.”
The player also revealed that he feared at one stage that he might be forced to leave the professional game, as he wasn’t able to discuss his sexuality with the people on his team.
McCarthy said his experiences had been "entirely positive"Oisin Keniry/Getty Images
"I came out to my teammates in January and I was obviously pretty nervous about doing so, but I’m really happy that I did it.
"I struggled with coming out for a while and it was starting to impact on me and my happiness so it was the right decision.”
He added: "It affected me so much that I agonised over my future and contemplated walking away from rugby altogether because I just didn’t think I could come out while playing rugby.
"But, I spoke to Leo (Cullen) and Stuart (Lancaster) last November and the support that I got from them straight away was unbelievable. They helped and guided me over the months that followed so that I felt more comfortable to come out to the group.
McCarthy has been sent countless messages of support online, with one social media user writing: “It takes a lot of guts to do this in the modern sports environment, make no mistake. Massive respect to Nick McCarthy. What he's done here will help so many people, young and old.”
\u201cIt takes a lot of guts to do this in the modern sports environment, make no mistake. Massive respect to Nick McCarthy. What he's done here will help so many people, young and old.\u201d
\u201cAs a Leinster fan and season ticket holder (who also happens to be bisexual) it's incredibly heartening to see my team has fostered a culture where two players in the squad in Jack Dunne and now Nick McCarthy feel comfortable coming out like this\u201d
\u201cDelighted that Nick McCarthy can be his full self and that he has found a supportive environment in Leinster and Irish rugby. More of these stories, please!\u201d
— Eric Fitzgerald \ud83c\uddf5\ud83c\uddf8 \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\u26a7\ufe0f (@Eric Fitzgerald \ud83c\uddf5\ud83c\uddf8 \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\u26a7\ufe0f)
\u201cRegardless of how many titles or accolades they win, Leinster\u2019s finest achievement is to have facilitated 66% of the total amount of professional mens rugby players to have come out while playing. (There are only 3 total)\n\nFull credit to Nick McCarthy, absolute role model.\u201d
\u201cCongratulation to Nick McCarthy. A huge thank you for taking this step, adding your authentic voice to the sport we love.\n\nOur sport will be stronger for it \ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc9a\n\n#RugbyForAll\u201d