Tadhg Furlong’s rise British & Irish Lions tighthead has been meteoric as he prepares to walk out in the first Test against the All Blacks just 12 months after making his Ireland debut against the Springboks.
And the powerhouse tighthead prop revealed an unlikely inspiration from the Leinster backroom staff.
“The real focus for me this year was when Stuart Lancaster came into Leinster,” Furlong said.
“We had a one on one and we sat down and he said: ‘From what I’ve seen you can really push on and try to aim to be a Lion this year’.”
“At first I was just like, ‘what are you saying?!’, you probably didn’t see yourself in that picture but he backed you and gave you a focus and goal to drive towards.”