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The New Ross connection: Tadhg Furlong talks GAA benefit, childhood "nemesis" and going pro


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Co Wexford has played its part in contributing to Ireland's most recent Six Nations Grand Slam glory days.

Gordon D'Arcy flew the purple and gold flag during the 2009 triumph and the most recent representative is world class tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong.

Ahead of our Heineken Rugby Club Roadshow at the Brandon House Hotel, New Ross, Oisin Langan caught up with the Ireland and Leinster prop who both went to school in New Ross and played New Ross RFC.

He spoke to Oisin about his long connection with the club who his father had coached and played for.  

"I'd never seen Dad play. He was finished up by the time I came around," he told Oisin.

His first match experience came as a youngster in an under-12 blitz where he first encountered his early rugby nemesis.

"I can remember that. It was the Popplewell Cup I think and it was under-12s. We lost to Carlow in the final," he recalled.

"They had a guy called Robert Dowse who played and he was incredible. No one could ever stop him. He was my nemesis underage, Robert Dowse from Carlow."

No surprise that the powerhouse prop "enjoyed the physical contact side" of the sport. But he also played Gaelic football.

"Any young fella growing up in the country in Ireland, you play both if you can and looking back now, you can definitely see a correlation between the hand eye co-ordination, movements, trying to read the play and so on so forth," said Furlong, before explaining how things got serious for him rugby-wise as he left school and immersed himself into Leinster life.


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