ON THE BACK of a stellar year with Ireland, Leinster and the Lions, Tadhg Furlong has handed the IRFU a major boost by agreeing terms on a new three-year central contract.
Furlong’s outstanding form and development into a player of a paramount importance to Joe Schmidt has been rewarded with a significant upgrade from his existing provincial deal to an IRFU-funded national contract ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
The 25-year-old’s commitment will come as a relief to the union who continue to negotiate with several other high-profile Ireland internationals — including Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander and Iain Henderson — over new contracts.
Furlong, capped 19 times at international level, entered negotiations with the IRFU’s performance director David Nucifora in a strong position following his performances over the last 12 months and his worth is underlined by the hefty financial package the union have put together to retain the prop’s services.
“I am delighted to have signed a contract with the IRFU to continue to play with Leinster,” he said.
“I got a number of opportunities over the past few seasons that have helped me to develop as a player and I want to continue to develop and be successful with both Leinster and Ireland.”
Nucifora commented: ”As a young prop still learning his trade Tadhg has shown enormous growth over the past 18 months. He learned a lot from his experience at RWC15 and has kicked on since that tournament to produce consistently impressive performances for Ireland, Leinster and the Lions.”
The Wexford native, whose last contract was a two-year provincial deal signed ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, has made 72 appearances for Leinster since making his senior debut against Dragons in November 2013.
Man of the match in the province’s Champions Cup defeat of Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park last weekend, Furlong’s stock has soared since his international debut against Wales in August 2015 and last summer was one of the standout performers for the Lions in New Zealand.
Furlong’s new deal will see him remain under IRFU contract until June 2021.
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