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'It’s something you dream of since you were in nappies' - Furlong

The Ireland and Leinster tighthead had a fine debut for Warren Gatland’s side.

Murray Kinsella reports from Christchurch

AS LIONS DEBUTS go, Tadhg Furlong had to be happy with his outing against the Crusaders as Warren Gatland’s side gained much-needed momentum with a 12-3 victory.

He helped the Lions scrum gain dominance, while he also chipped in with his usual tackles, passes and a handful of carries. The Wexford man will be looking to bring even more on his next outing in the red shirt, but this was a fine start.

Tadhg Furlong poses for a selfie with fans after the game Furlong snaps a selfie with some fans. Source: Photosport/Martin Hunter/INPHO

Having had to wait until the third game of the tour to get the ball rolling, Furlong was thrilled to be able to call himself a Lion proper.

“It was brilliant,” said Furlong. “An incredibly proud moment for me and my family. It’s something you dream of since you were in nappies.

“There was a lot of responsibility to the jersey and we managed to get out on the other side of it with a win.

You probably don’t think about it because you have a million things going on in your head about the game – the things you want to do, areas of your game you want to put down, you try and reflect.

“It is a dream come true. I’ll have that number three jersey at home somewhere for the rest of my life.”

Kyle Sinckler has made an excellent start to this tour and Dan Cole is a renowned scrummaging force, but Furlong remains the favourite to start at tighthead for the Tests against the All Blacks.

He had some ferocious ruck hits to go along with the rest of his performance, but the scrum is always primary.

Though it appeared that Furlong excelled against All Blacks looseheads Joe Moody and Wyatt Crockett, the man himself wasn’t totally pleased.

Andy Farrell with Tadgh Furlong after the game Furlong with defence coach Andy Farrell. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“It was a very mixed bag,” said Furlong. “It wasn’t as clean as I would have liked. You cross over to the Southern Hemisphere and they probably scrummage a little bit differently.

“It was definitely a case of some good, some bad, enough to work on but the games are coming thick and fast.

“I have to sit down and look at the clips of the scrum to dissect it a little bit more. Some were messier than we would have liked and some of the technique stuff can improve as well. I look forward to seeing that.”

Collectively, it was an encouraging night for the Lions as they showed further improvement following the defeat to the Blues, although their inability to capitalise on nine linebreaks was a concern.

With the Highlanders awaiting in Dunedin on Tuesday, Furlong wants the Lions to find their clinical edge urgently.

“There were no tries in the game so I thought we looked dangerous at times, made linebreaks, but we didn’t convert any of them.

“That is definitely one area – a bit more fluency in attack. It will come but it has to come quickly as well. The games are coming thick and fast and there is not much of a turnaround time until Tuesday.”

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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