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Ireland dismiss 'strange' Welsh complaints over Furlong's scrummaging

The tighthead prop’s set-piece work was questioned by Wales forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys.

IRELAND HEAD COACH Andy Farrell has defended Tadhg Furlong after Wales questioned the legality of the tighthead prop’s scrummaging in their Six Nations clash two weekends ago.

Wales forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys took issue with Furlong’s efforts at scrum time in Ireland’s 24-14 victory in Dublin.

Strangely, Humphreys made the comments this week as Wales prepare for a clash with France in Cardiff.

tadhg-furlong Furlong scored a try for Ireland against Wales last time out. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“We want to scrummage a certain way and paint really good pictures,” said Humphreys. “The consistency of that has been good, but when you’re dealing with tightheads like Furlong who is going to come right across the scrum from left to right, it creates problems and instability.”

Humphreys singled out Furlong again when asked about the crucial 63rd-minute penalty the Welsh scrum conceded just metres out from the Irish tryline with the game still in the balance.

“It’s clearly obvious that Furlong has hammered across the scrum,” complained Humphreys. “It’s created instability from left to right, but we’ve got to deal with that.”

But speaking yesterday after naming his side to face England in Twickenham this weekend, Ireland boss Farrell dismissed the Welsh gripes with Furlong.

“A bit strange, it is, singling out a guy that is well renowned for being as legal as they get as far as scrummaging is concerned,” said Farrell.

“And not just that, but top of the tree as far as world rugby is concerned in that position.

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“It is a little bit strange, I’ve never known anyone to say that about Tadhg before.”

South Africa’s Jaco Peyper will take charge of Ireland’s clash with England on Sunday in London but Farrell also dismissed the notion that the referee will carry any preconceptions about Furlong into the game.

“We speak to the referees the whole time and they haven’t got a concern,” said Farrell.

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