Furlong signs new deal
It has been a phenomenal 12 months for Wexford native Tadhg Furlong who has just signed a new three-year IRFU contract.
The Campile man, who began his career with New Ross Rugby Club, has started eleven tests for Ireland since November of last year, making the number 3 jersey his own. as well as being an ever present during the British and Irish Lions test series against New Zealand.
The 25-year-old Furlong turned in a man of the match performance when Leinster ended Exeter Chiefs twelve months unbeaten home run last Saturday week, before putting back to back victories against the English Premier Champions in a sensational European Cup game at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday afternoon last.
Down 17-3, having to endure the loss of out-half Johnny Sexton through concussion after just a short few minutes, with substitute No. 10 Ross Byrne also having to have head injury assessment before returning, all in the opening ten minutes, having had to play two spells with fourteen players, Cian Healy and Scott Fardy both yellow carded, Leinster turned in a remarkable second half performance to edge their way back to a magnificent 22-17 victory, keeping them at top of their group.
Now Furlong has committed his immediate future to Leinster and Irish rugby. He made his Irish debut against Wales during the 2015 Guinness Summer Series before being named in the squad for that year's Rugby World Cup in England.
The Campile native featured against Romania at RWC 2015 and went on to make his Six Nations debut the following spring, featuring off the bench against Wales. He replaced Mike Ross to help Ireland secure a famous victory over the Springboks in Capetown in June 2016, and later that year would start in Chicago as Ireland recorded their first ever win over New Zealand.
He started every game of the 2017 Six Nations Championship and has gone on to win 19 caps for his country to date. Selected for the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour, Furlong was the starting tighthead for all three test matches against New Zealand.
IRFU Performance Director, David Nucifora commented: 'As a young prop still learning his trade, Tadhg Furolong has shown enormous growth over the past 18 months.'
Mick Dawson, CEO of Leinster Rugby, added: 'This is great news for Leinster and Ireland. Tadhg is a product of the Leinster Youth system and has come through New Ross, into our age-grade system, into our senior team, and now to the highest honours with Ireland and the Lions.
'His signature is a huge boost as we continue to build for the coming seasons. Securing homegrown and young talent like Tadhg is a key part of the Leinster way.'
Tadhg Furlong said: 'I am delighted to have signed a contract with the IRFU to continue to play with Leinster. I got a number of opportunities over the past few seasons that have helped me develop as a player and I want to continue to develop and be successful with both Leinster and Ireland.'