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Furlong secures his future and vows to go extra mile with Leinster

 

By David Kelly

Occasions like Boxing Day at Munster's heaving Thomond Park will remind Leinster's Tadhg Furlong, Ireland and Lions tight-head prop, just why he decided to commit his medium-term future as a professional player to this country.

Sure, he may leave some day. But not yet. Not while there is much more to accomplish even if, for 80 minutes at least, it may be at the expense of some of his international colleagues.

"I'm happy to have my future sorted out," says the Wexford native. "It dragged on a fair while but I was delighted to get everything sorted.

"I probably didn't look too seriously further afield because I know I still have a lot of development to undertake as a player in Leinster and Ireland.

"The opportunity to be successful here drives me, especially with a group of players that I have come to admire, particularly the older ones.

"You look at the likes of Jonathan Sexton, Sean Cronin, Sean O'Brien, Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Devin Toner. They are all over 30 and I knew that if I was to go somewhere else for a few years, and maybe even if I did come back, I might never get the chance to play with that special group ever again and try to win something with them.

"If I was away and saw Ireland winning championship titles or Grand Slams, doing well at a World Cup, or Leinster winning the Champions Cup, that would have been very difficult to take."

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