When Tadhg Furlong is getting praise like this, you know he’s doing well…
Tendai Mtawarira has been widely regarded as one of the most fearsome props in world rugby over the last ten years. Better known as ‘The Beast’, the South African loosehead has been a handful for opposition tightheads for the best part of a decade.
He knows a good scrummager when he sees one.
Mtawarira announced himself on a global stage during the 2009 Lions tour. The tourists, buoyed by Phil Vickery, fancied their chances at scrum-time, but the Englishman was completely dominated in the set-piece during the first test.
Eight years on, the Lions were far more competitive at the scrum in New Zealand. A great deal of this was down to Tadhg Furlong.
The 24-year-old Wexford native has experienced a drastic rise in his career. In the first half of 2016, he found himself stuck behind Mike Ross and Marty Moore at Leinster. Fast forward 18 months or so and he is being considered amongst the very best in the world.
Speaking to RTÉ ahead of South Africa’s clash with Ireland in Dublin on Saturday, ‘The Beast’, had huge praise for Furlong.
“I watched him in the British and Irish Lions series. He did very well. I have huge respect for him. He’s a great tighthead.
“He has made his mark as the best tighthead up north. He’s solid at set-piece time. He gets around the park, gets through the work.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge on Saturday.”
If Ireland are to come to terms with the South African scrum, Furlong will need to be at his very best.