Ireland: Tadhg Furlong admits it will be ‘special’ to captain Ireland against Fiji

Tadhg Furlong celebrates after beating the Springboks in Dublin Credit: Alamy
Tadhg Furlong celebrates after beating the Springboks in Dublin Credit: Alamy

Ireland front-row Tadhg Furlong is excited to lead his country against Fiji this weekend in the Autumn Nations Series.

Head coach Andy Farrell has handed the captain’s armband to the experienced campaigner, with regular skipper Johnny Sexton expected to be rested after suffering a dead leg in their 19-16 win against the Springboks.

Furlong has not led a team since U18s, where he captained Ireland, but his 61 Test caps make him an obvious choice to skipper the side.

“Class” to be named captain

The front-row admits leading his country is not something he ever expected or even dreamt of as a young rugby player, and he is looking to make the most of it as he joked it might be his only chance.

“I never even thought of it,” said Furlong.

“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.

“It could be my only time! Obviously I didn’t know if I would be playing or not, Faz (Farrell) said it to me on Monday, ‘would you skipper the team, if you’re fit and ready to go?’, so of course.

“It’s class, it’s class, it’s not something I ever thought was on my radar. To get an opportunity is special, you know? I just want to make the most out of the weekend.”

Fit for the clash

Furlong damaged his ankle in the arm wrestle against the Springboks but claimed he is good to go against Fiji.

“It feels good, thankfully, I’m good to go,” he said.

The world number one side will announce their starting line-up for the Fiji clash on Thursday, with Test centurion Conor Murray ruled out while Stuart McCloskey should be available for selection.

Following the Test against Fiji, Ireland welcome the Wallabies for what will be another interesting Test match in the 2022 Autumn Nations Series.

READ MORE: Expert Witness: Nick Easter demands passion, gas and specialism in England selections

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