Rugby

How Good Is It To Have Tadhg Furlong Back In An Ireland Jersey?

How Good Is It To Have Tadhg Furlong Back In An Ireland Jersey?

Oh Tadhg Furlong, how we missed you.

There are few players more consistent than the Ireland prop when is fully fit. He offers more from the front row than almost any of his peers in world rugby, something we got a timely reminder of this afternoon.

The Wexford native has struggled with injuries in recent times, with his return always going to be a huge boost at provincial and international level.

Furlong was always going to play a key part in any positive Ireland result against the Scots this afternoon. That proved to be the case, with his contribution helping Ireland to a sizeable lead while he was on the pitch.

His highlight of the opening period was no doubt his double side step just before the half hour mark, a sequence of play that saw Finn Russell left on his arse.

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Poetry in motion.

While this was a more obvious example of his impact, Furlong's underlying numbers in that first 40 minutes were hugely impressive.

He has seven tackles and five carries during the opening period, putting him in first and second place respectively amongst the Ireland team in those categories.

He was in the same position in both areas when he left the pitch in the 55th minute. IReland were leading 24-10 when he was substituted.

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It is perhaps no coincidence that the team's performance dropped off significantly after his departure. In the end, they managed to just about get over the line without him.

This was a timely reminder of Furlong's qualities ahead of what could be a big few months for him. While Ireland's Six Nations hunt is over, he has the small matter of Leinster's domestic and European campaigns to deal with.

If he plays anywhere near his best rugby over that period, you'd imagine he's a shoe-in to start in the Lions tests this summer.

All that remains to be seen, but one thing that is for certain is that we're very happy to see him back in an Ireland jersey.

SEE ALSO: Ronan O'Gara Praises Irish TMO For 'Courageous' Decision On Itoje Try

Gary Connaughton

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