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Furlong Source Of Inspiration For Ireland U20 Vice-Captain Clarkson

Furlong Source Of Inspiration For Ireland U20 Vice-Captain Clarkson
By John Fallon Updated

Ireland U-20 tighthead Tom Clarkson doesn’t have to look far for a role model and says Tadhg Furlong has been helpful and an inspiration.

Clarkson, named this week as vice-captain of the Irish U-20s, said that the Lion goes out of the way to help the youngsters in Leinster and he’s hopeful he can follow his example.

“He [is] definitely really open to giving advice and friendly as well,” said the former Blackrock College player who is in first year in the Leinster academy.

Clarkson struck his own note last year when he played in every game when they won a Six Nations Grand Slam and then featured in each of the five games at the World Championship in Argentina.

The powerfully built prop — he’s tipping the scales at 113kg — said there was no special secret to staying injury-free and maintaining the form that kept him in the selection loop.

I just got my recovery right, I just kinda trod along through it. I didn’t do anything special. I did the basics and it showed.

He’s hopeful that the performances from last year will help him improve and he’s looking forward to the start of the Six Nations at home to Scotland next weekend in Cork.

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“I’d like to think so yeah, even just confidence I think and skills come on. The more you do them the more you are confident going into games.

"I feel definitely confidence-wise I have moved on. Even going to the camps, I’m much more comfortable playing my game and just try and get everything right.”

There are seven survivors from last year but Clarkson doesn’t expect them to be burdened by the mantle of champions.

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“It’s a new competition even for us. We have our own year, our own goals our own aims that we want to achieve.

“We really don’t want be seen as an extension of last year we want to achieve it ourselves. I’d say the other countries have the exact same mindset going into it,” he added.

Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

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