Rugby

'A Hell Of A Rugby Player' - Tadhg Furlong Tells What Could Have Been For All-Ireland Winner

'A Hell Of A Rugby Player' - Tadhg Furlong Tells What Could Have Been For All-Ireland Winner

Just across the river from New Ross is Rosbercon. Walter Walsh hails from the village. Down the road from New Ross, in the village of Campile, grew up Tadhg Furlong.

Both would grow up to become stars of Irish sport - Walsh as a three-time All-Ireland winner with Kilkenny and Furlong as the best tighthead prop Irish rugby has ever seen.

Walsh and Furlong actually played rugby together with New Ross RFC. Speaking on Off The Ball AM on Tuesday, Furlong spoke about Walsh's ability as a rugby player.

"Wally was a hell of a rugby player, to be fair," said Furlong.

He played a lot of out-half for us underage, I suppose, with New Ross. He could boot the ball a country mile and control the game very well. Obviously, athletically very strong, good body and spatial awareness for GAA.

Wally would have been in the very early stages of the picking up in the south east before you get to Leinster underage squads. It was probably at a time for him when hurling was taking off as well. He probably never got the shot at it that I would have done. If he got those chances and opportunities and hurling wasn't there, it's a different conversation, maybe.

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Furlong believes Walsh is not the type to dwell on what could have been for him in professional sport.

"He's doing well enough to be fair. He has a few All-Irelands in the bag, an All-Star. I'm pretty sure he's not contemplating, 'What if I didn't do this at 16 years of age?'

"Wally's at the top of his game. I watched them in the league and watched them get beat by Wexford in the Walsh Cup final which is probably a sore point for him."

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PJ Browne
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