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01st Sep 2015

Tadhg Furlong didn’t expect to make Joe Schmidt’s World Cup squad


Patrick McCarry

His inclusion was one of two shocks in Joe Schmidt’s 31-man squad.

Tadhg Furlong is one of three tightheads named in the Ireland squad. Schmidt has also jettisoned scrum-halves Kieran Marmion and Isaac Boss in favour of Ulster centre Darren Cave.

Not a single rugby writer, pundit or Brian O’Driscoll predicted the make-up of Schmidt’s squad.

While some suggested Marty Moore would be risked by the coach, others believed the tightheads would be Mike Ross and White.

Speaking to Furlong after his Ireland debut, on Saturday, he did not seem confident about making the cut.

The Wexford native admitted he was “nervous” against Wales and revealed he had been injured [quad tear] in his first week of pre-season training with Ireland.

He remarked, ‘I’d tell you that you were cracked if you told me I’d be in this situation [hoping to be in the World Cup squad] but I’ve worked hard for this.’

Tadhg Furlong makes his international debut 29/8/2015

Asked what his thought process was ahead of the squad announcement, Furlong said, ‘I suppose, if you are being realistic about it, I probably don’t have much form coming into the selection process.

‘I’ve only played 25 minutes and I have one cap now and I’ve been injured for much of the pre-season.

‘If they told me those were the reasons for not selecting me, I could understand it.

‘But, saying that, I’d absolutely love to get the call and represent my country another few times.’

He got the call and the entire country is now behind him.

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