Tadhg Furlong: 'I never even dreamed of captaining Ireland as a kid, only Spuds, gravy, and the mother’s Sunday Roast'

Tadhg Furlong: 'I never even dreamed of captaining Ireland as a kid, only Spuds, gravy, and the mother’s Sunday Roast'

IRELAND'S CAPTAIN for the game against Fiji on Saturday in the Aviva will be Tadgh Furlong. The front-row forward will lead out Andy Farrell's side for the first time in his career in a game where Ireland are expected to ring the changes. 

The powerful forward has been a mainstay for Ireland for a number of years, but has never captained his country. That role has usually been left to his Leinster teammates Johnny Sexton, James Ryan, or Munster's Peter O'Mahony.

Since making his debut in 2015, Furlong has established himself as one of the finest tightheads in world rugby and has toured twice with the British and Irish Lions.

There had been doubt's over Furlong's inclusion for the game after he came off the pitch during the 19-16 win over South Africa, last weekend but now he's recovered from Ireland's second game this weekend.

When asked today, if he dreamt of ever captaining his country as a kid, the Wexford man said no he didn't.

"It’s classic. It’s not something that was on my radar to be honest with you but to get an opportunity is special, you know. You know when you dream as a young fella, you want to play for Ireland, you want to play for Leinster, you want to play for the Lions. I never even dreamed of captaining Ireland,"he said.

He was then asked what he actually dreamt of as a kid. He replied with a hysterical Irish answer in “Spuds. Gravy. The mother’s Sunday roast.”

Putting the jokes to one side he admitted his friends and family will be very proud of his upcoming landmark feat.

"Seriously though just playing, playing for Ireland," added Furlong.

“Look, I know it’s for a game. I know it’s not captaining your country week-in, week-out, but it’s still class. It’s still a class feeling.

“I know from people back home, they’ll be very proud etc. So it’s great.

“I said to Faz (Andy Farrell), ‘No bother off the pitch, but what the hell do I do (on the pitch), do I go to the corner?’… He had a few good bits and pieces for me, to rely on the boys, and just getting about my work and making the lads feel good for the week. Trust the boys.”

When asked why more props aren't captains, Fulong added: that he just wanted to concentrate on the upcoming game against Fiji: "To be brutally honest with you, I’m a prop. If I’m playing, I’m playing for 50/60 minutes, and I’ve my head in the ground for most of the game. I think there’s a reason front rows, and props especially, aren’t captains all that often, it’s because of that and I think that’s the reality of it.

“Is it something I’d like to do (again)? I haven’t even thought of it. I didn’t even think it was on my radar. I just want to make the most out of the weekend.”

Ireland's game against FIji begins at 1pm on Saturday.

Ireland's squad for the game will be announced further on in the week.