Tadhg Furlong has given an insight into scrummaging that can only come from a member of an international-class pack. Speaking to Eoin and Ger on OTB:AM, he was in enlightening and engaging form.
“The thing that you have to remember when you’re a rugby player – especially in scrummaging – I can’t see what you’re looking at. So all I can do is feel what’s happening. Obviously you’re looking down at the ground, sometimes your eyes are closed, you are pushing as hard as you can so you’re trying to gauge all these different feelings.
“The more games you play, the bigger the catalogue of feeling [...] then you match that feeling to the video you see after the game. So next time I’m previewing a scrum, I might see something that I’ve seen before and I know the feeling within the scrum, so I can work to solve it.”
Tadhg also discussed the importance of team cooperation in the scrum, as well as what makes a good prop and the differences in the position between teams.
“It’s subjective – New Zealand have quite tall props, South Africa would have tall, big props. It’s all shapes and sizes to be honest with you – it’s more about your technique.
“I would be a chesty, square-scrummaging tighthead. So I’m square on and using both shoulders with a big chest. I scrummage quite long with my feet, so I can put downward pressure with my chest [...]Dan Cole, for example, would be more near ninety degrees and he’d use more of his shoulder scrummaging.”
Furlong’s ideal opponent in a scrum would ideally be a square loosehead, similar to his opponents in training.
“You’re more of a bank of feeling and vision on [a square loosehead]. That’s the challenge in training, for Leinster or in an international, where you don’t want to be scrummaging against the same loose head for the whole week. You need to switch it over and out because you can’t get a repetition of doing the same thing against the same fella where you need a different picture.”]
Ireland fans will be hoping to see Tadhg in full flow state against Wales on February 24th.
You can see the full interview on Off the Ball’s YouTube channel – why not subscribe while you’re there? At this rate, we’ll have you leading the line for Ireland in no time.