"You throw a stone across the river, you're in Waterford, boy!" - Tadhg Furlong on growing up near Munster border 3 months ago

"You throw a stone across the river, you're in Waterford, boy!" - Tadhg Furlong on growing up near Munster border

The Munster legend is clearly a fan.

Back in 2016, Ronan O'Gara was so compelled by a post-match interview with Tadhg Furlong that he headed over to Twitter to sing the young prop's praises.

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A couple of years later, after Simon Zebo's move from Munster to Racing 92 was confirmed, and other players were linked with switches abroad, O'Gara declared that Furlong was the one man the IRFU could not afford to lose.

And again, in 2021, the former Munster and Ireland outhalf said this about Furlong - "He is genuinely one of the few world class players we have... We look a very very different team when he plays."

Ahead of the latest instalment of the long-running interpro rivalry between Leinster and Munster, Furlong spoke with RTÉ about always trying to add to his game.

"You want to be better this year. We want to challenge. You can talk all you want about the collective, and it is important, but individuals make the collective. Especially the way rugby is going, and the progressions being made in the game to where it was when I started, and even the middle years, you have to keep evolving and adding strings to your bow."

"I'm 29," he added. "I'm not sure how many years I've left. I've got to be careful now when I start talking!

"I would have grown up in a border town, with Munster. You throw a stone across the river, you're in Waterford, boy! There was was that element of Munster versus Leinster, in your locality."

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Looking back on that Furlong interview, from France, this morning, Ronan O'Gara was scoffing up every morsel. One suspects, as much as he bleeds blue [figuratively, of course!], Furlong is the one current Leinster player the Munster faithful would love in their team.

Furlong starts his second match of the 2022/23 at tighthead, against Munster. He is in line to make his 200th senior appearance during the November internationals.

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On the latest House of Rugby [LISTEN from 12:35 below], hosts Greg O'Shea, Lindsay Peat and Jason Hennessy discussed how Leinster could bring through a few fresher faces, this season, in their quest for another league title and that fifth European Cup trophy.

"Leinster have a lot of players in good form, at the moment," said Jason Hennessy. "Garry Ringrose is playing some of the best rugby of his career. He's been absolutely phenomenal in the last few weeks. Josh van der Flier has been amazing in the last few weeks, too."

With Joe McCarthy looking ready for a sizeable step-up, Scott Penny and Max Deegan primed for big back row minutes and backline starlets like Jamie Osborne and Rob Russell getting a chance to shine against Munster, there is a sense that Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster are backing the younger guns to make the difference.

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WATCH HOUSE OF RUGBY HERE: