Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 9°C Saturday 15 May 2021

'I don't think there's many front rowers who could do that in the world'

Tadhg Furlong’s involvement in the build-up to Luke McGrath’s second try for Leinster was impressive.

THERE WERE MANY highlights to chose from in Leinster’s dominant win over Wasps on Friday night, but James Lowe didn’t hesitate for a second in picking out his moment of the game when asked about his team’s performance.

Tadhg Furlong is as popular within the Leinster squad as he is among their support and the wider rugby public in Ireland, and his show of comfort wide on the left in the build-up to Luke McGrath’s second try had his team-mates raving.


Click here if you cannot view the clip above

“Tadhg’s bloody show-and-go then the one-handed pass,” said Lowe, having received the ball from Furlong in this instance. “That’s special and we managed to capitalise in the end.

“I don’t think there’s many front rowers who could do that in the world. He’s a special human on and off the field, so credit where credit’s due. He did bloody everything well today.”

Having played with some very skillful props in New Zealand before his move to Leinster, Lowe knows a thing or two about big men who are comfortable on the ball even in the outside channels.

Furlong is certainly among the most talented ball-handling tightheads in the professional game, however, with his moment of brilliance against Wasps making it look as though the number ’1′ had peeled off his jersey to leave only the ’3′. 

There is much more to Furlong’s game, of course, with his set-piece work, aggressive rucking, link passing and mobile defending making him one of the best in the world, but this glamorous footwork and pass to Lowe was dazzling.

“You have a lot of confidence in him because he’s comfortable in wider channels,” said Leinster head coach Leo Cullen.

Furlong’s pass to Lowe wasn’t the only moment of skill from a Leinster forward on Friday night – far from it.

Tadhg Furlong 12/10/2018 Furlong is comfortable in the wider channels. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Just before Furlong received the ball, Devin Toner released a delicate pass back to Johnny Sexton on the very familiar loop play, one of six passes from the second row over the course of the 52-3 win.

Number eight Jack Conan passed six times too, while lock James Ryan and Furlong both had four each.

“It’s huge,” said Cullen. “If you want to play a skillful game, you need skillful forwards as well, so the work that Stuart [Lancaster] does, John Fogarty as well, on some of the catch-pass and the execution of the basics is hugely important.

“It’s something we’ve gone hard after in the last couple of pre-seasons so hopefully that work pays off. You saw it a couple of times today.

“Tadhg is naturally a very skillful guy anyway but it’s important the forwards can play a game that involves handling the ball.”

Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here:

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel