A dream come true for Tadhg

Gorey Guardian - - NEWS -

LE­IN­STER star Tadhg Fur­long’s dream came true on Satur­day when The Blues tri­umphed in Spain and he made the dreams of Good Coun­sel stu­dents come true when he posed for a cel­e­bra­tory pho­to­graph for his fans at 1 a.m. in Dublin Air­port.

Fur­long, who at­tended Good Coun­sel Col­lege, com­pleted an im­pres­sive hat-trick of hon­ours be­tween his wins with Ire­land and Le­in­ster – as The Blues won their fourth Euro­pean Cup with a 15-12 vic­tory over French side Rac­ing 92 in the San Mamés sta­dium in Bil­bao.

Ten Good Coun­sel stu­dents who had been vol­un­teer­ing at or­phan­ages in Be­larus for a week couldn’t be­lieve their eyes when they saw the Le­in­ster squad in the ar­rivals area, shortly af­ter they had touched down.

Deputy prin­ci­pal Ai­dan O’Brien said: ‘The stu­dents had been over in Be­larus with teach­ers Aoife Sut­ton and Kieran Bar­ron. They met the Le­in­ster team and Tadhg came across when he re­alised the group were from the col­lege. It was a nice, neat co-in­ci­dence that our boys were go­ing through the air­port at the same time.’

Mr O’Brien said Tadhg has al­ways been great to the school’s stu­dents.

‘When Ire­land beat the All Blacks he brought in a jer­sey which now has pride of place in the col­lege. He is one of our most dec­o­rated sports­men along with Ai­dan O’Brien and Kevin Doyle. It wasn’t sur­pris­ing in the least that he took the time to chat with the stu­dents, some of whom are big sports fans. It was a big thrill for the boys who did great work help­ing out at the or­phan­ages.’

Fur­long, 25, was af­ter a bruis­ing en­counter with the French out­fit, the Ir­ish team only tak­ing the lead for the first time in the 78th minute through an Isa Nacewa penalty, and with­stood a late Rac­ing surge to win their first Euro­pean Cup since 2012.

The win also en­sured Le­in­ster kept up their 100 per cent win­ning record in Euro­pean fi­nals, hav­ing pre­vi­ously won the com­pe­ti­tion in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

‘It was a weird game of rugby,’ the Le­in­ster and Ire­land tight­head Fur­long told BT Sport.

‘There wasn’t a whole lot of rugby played. It was kind of stop-start, nei­ther team got in a flow.

We didn’t have the ball or play with the ball the way we wanted to. We’re de­lighted to come out on the right side of the re­sult and it’s amaz­ing for this bunch of play­ers.’

Fur­long ac­knowl­edged that this vic­tory was im­por­tant for Le­in­ster’s younger gen­er­a­tion of play­ers who hadn’t yet tasted suc­cess in Europe, and have been build­ing to this mo­ment for sev­eral years.

‘This is my first ever Euro­pean Cup, there’s some lads now on four and as a younger player within the squad its nice to have given the pedi­gree the club have in Europe. We’ve been work­ing up to this for the last two years. We had dis­ap­point­ment in the semi-fi­nal last year, and in the semi-fi­nal of the Pro 12 as well. It’s an amaz­ing feel­ing.’

He said rep­re­sent­ing Wex­ford means a mas­sive amount to him. ‘I have got in­cred­i­ble sup­port from the club back home in New Ross, from the peo­ple of Horse­wood and Campile over the years. You flicker back and you know that and you don’t want to let them down, and that means a lot to me,’ he said in an in­ter­view with the Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent.

BE­LOW: Tadhg with Jordi Mur­phy, left, and Rob Kear­ney af­ter the match on Satur­day.

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