The British and Lions ended the tour of New Zealand in emphatic fashion by securing a hard-fought draw against New Zealand, their first in the professional era.
The All Blacks were undoubtedly the favourites ahead of the three-match Test series but the Lions’ performance took everyone by surprise as the squad comprising of players from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, led by Warren Gatland delivered at the crucial moments.
However, after returning home from the hugely successful tour, Tadhg Furlong has admitted that there was a ‘secret trick’ which assisted them in gaining the upper hand over the world champions.
Speaking on the Off The Ball podcast in his native Ireland, the 24-year-old disclosed Kyle Sinckler passed on a trick move, he learned from Harlequins’ ace Adam Jones, which helped in the team’s success to a massive scale.
Although Sinckler was competing for a starting place with Furlong, he had no issue with letting the Irishman know of the move which ultimately aided in the Lions’ progress in the scrum.
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Furlong said: “New Zealand loosehead props like to come across at an angle in the scrummage, especially on your own ball.
“And Kyle had this trick that he learned from Adam Jones with his head that helped keep the loosehead out of the bind.
“It worked really good and helped me a lot.”
Ahead of the tour, the inclusion of Furlong raised questions among the rugby circuit regarding the amount of experience he possessed (having previously picked up just 16 caps at international level), yet, he was one of the Lions' most impressive and consistent performers.
“When I see that sort of thing (praise), I push it away,” he continued.
“They are probably looking from the outside, they might have seen a carry but they didn’t see something I did really sloppily. If you see that stuff, I find it kind of easy to dismiss it.
“Maybe it’s an Irish thing, maybe it’s a ‘country’ thing or something. I don’t know. You sit down at the end of a game, or you do a review, or you have to send some feedback to coaches. They ask you to fill out what you think you did well, what you think you didn’t do well.
“You can fill out what you didn’t do well and what you can improve on – you can list them off. When it comes down to writing what you did well – you know – you’re struggling. You’re looking at an empty page. I find it very hard to say those things.”
One of the success stories for the tourists, Furlong was lauded not only by hometown media but outlets across New Zealand considered the Irish prop sensation as the best tighthead in world rugby.
High praise indeed!
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