Tadhg Furlong's meteoric rise has sent ripples across the world, with his performances for the Lions over the summer prodding the Southern Hemisphere awake to his potential. Despite having made his international debut as recently as 2015, Furlong has established himself as among the best in the world. What has helped in this has been his record against New Zealand: in five career appearances thus far against the ABs, he's won twice and drawn once.
South Africa are equally aware of Furlong's talents, with legendary prop Tendai Mtawarira heaping praise upon Furlong ahead of Saturday's clash at the Aviva. You may remember Mtawarira better as the 'beast', the bulldozing prop who utterly demolished Phil Vickery during the 2009 Lions Tour.
As the IRFU try to pick holes in World Rugby's technical report for the 2023 World Cup in an effort to subvert South Africa's advantage, the Springboks are on a charm offensive in Dublin, with Mtawarira's comments to the media regarding Furlong as effusive as they come.
Going up against Furlong, I watched him in Lions series. He did very well. I have got huge respect for him. He's a great tighthead. He has obviously made his mark as the best tighthead up north. I am looking forward to the challenge on Saturday.
First and foremost, he is solid at set-piece, He also gets around the park, gets through some work. In that respect, he is definitely the best.
The Springboks' scrum coach Matt Proudfoot also praised Furlong: "Furlong is exceptional - great body position, very square. He's well coached, really, really well coached. So he's going to be a challenge for us".