"Going out there with the best tighthead in the world is not a bad thing to have" 5 months ago

"Going out there with the best tighthead in the world is not a bad thing to have"

"His recent performances reminded everyone why he is rated as one of the best tighthead’s in world rugby."

On Tadhg Furlong, former Wales and Lions star Adam Jones would go one further than David Nucifora.


The IRFU Performance Director was waxing lyrical, earlier today, as news was confirmed of Furlong penning a one-year contract extension with Leinster and Ireland.

As for the man himself, Furlong acknowledged that there have been tough days of late - most keenly felt in the Champions Cup knock-out stages - but both province and country have squads that 'are able to compete for trophies in the future'.

It goes to show how dominant Leinster are in the PRO14, and how highly they regard Champions Cup titles as a barometer of success, that Furlong's comments had a tinge of regret to them. Winning Leinster's fifth European Cup will trump winning the league for a fifth season in a row, one can confidently claim.

Andrew Porter did a superb job of holding down the tighthead fort while the Wexford native was out injured. Nonetheless, Furlong took it up a notch pretty quickly, upon his return, and was a safe bet for British & Irish Lions squad selection. That Porter also made the squad is a credit to how he ended last season and ploughed on this season.

Of all the Lions Text XV selections you will see out there - and some revamped teams were required after Warren Gatland sprung some squad surprises - the constant is Tadhg Furlong in the No.3 jersey.

On House of Rugby, Furlong got a ringing endorsement from the man that did the same jersey proud, down in South Africa, on the 2009 Lions Tour.

Adam Jones was the prop tasked with taming Tendai 'The Beast' Mtawawira for the deciding Second Test, after the Springbok loosehead had put Phil Vickery through the wringer the weekend before. Jones did that, and more, as he stabilised the Lions scrum and won a couple of penalties in the process. It was a huge loss to the Lions when Jones broke his arm in the second half of that game.


Adam Jones poses in front of the Lions tour bus in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

When selecting the XV he would start against South Africa, on July 24, the three-time Grand Slam winner said:

"Tadhg Furlong, all day long. If he can do 80 minutes, ply him 80 minutes.

"He can do everything. He's not just a scrummager, not just a ball-carrier, he's got the all-round game. He's the best tighthead in the world, and going out there with the best tighthead in the world is not a bad thing to have."

Jones would pair Furlong up, in the front row, with the Wales duo of Wyn Jones and hooker Ken Owens.


"I'm really surprised [looseheads] Ellis Genge or Joe Marler didn't receive a call, or an email," he added, "because those type of guys, when you go out to South Africa, you need to have some sort of edge."

On why he would have selected Marler ahead of Cian Healy, who was also unfortunate to miss out, Jones said, "Joe is the best scummager in the world. He's phenomenal."