Modern professional rugby has evolved so much in recent times that players continuously need to add strings to their bow in order to remain competitive and to succeed. Tadhg Furlong epitomises this perfectly, as he has a wide array of skills which transcends what you would expect from a tighthead prop.
Gone are the days that the sole role of a tighthead is to lock out a scrum. Now props have to be more agile and deft in the carry, in addition to adding a level of dynamism to their play, including passing skills.
Furlong is the perfect example of this and his skill set in many facets of the game has seen him elevated to be regarded as one of the best tighthead props in the world.
His contribution to Leinster clinching the bonus point try during Leinster’s 52-3 demolition of Wasps was crucial and it displayed the very skills which make him world class.
A classic Johnny Sexton loop play lead to Furlong receiving the ball in the wide channels and rather than panic and carry directly into contact, the Wexford man sucked in a defender with a beautiful step before unleashing a one-handed offload to the supporting James Lowe who set up Luke McGrath for his second try of the game.
Lowe, when speaking to the media after the match, was full of praise for Wexford’s finest.
“The first ten minutes, the start of the second half, can really set up a great platform for the rest of the game and we did it today.
“We managed to score the first set-piece and after that, we managed to get a foothold in the game, confidence grew. You know, Tadhg bloody show and go for a one-handed pass, those are special moments and we managed to capitalise in the end.
“I don’t think there are many front-rowers who can do that in the world, you know? He’s a special human, off and on the field, so credit where credit is due, he bloody did everything well today.”