James Downey, Paul Warwick and Kevin McLaughlin on The Hard Yards 1 month ago

James Downey, Paul Warwick and Kevin McLaughlin on The Hard Yards

A healthy mix of Irish and Australian rugby stars to lend their thoughts on a cracking Test Series.

Ireland kept their chances of a brilliant series win alive with a well-deserved victory over Australia, in Melbourne.

Joining The Hard Yards to look back on that game, and preview the Third Test, are Kevin McLaughlin, James Downey and Paul Warwick.

Possible starting XV changes, Peter O'Mahony's epic performance, England's losing streak and a class training ground story about Tadhg Furlong [from 5:00 below] are all covered in the show.

Furlong was named man-of-the-match by Australia broadcasters (FOX and Channel 10) and few in Ireland were arguing. He was magnificent and stayed on until the 71st minute in another epic shift for the cause.

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McLaughlin was at Leinster around the time the Wexford prop was just breaking into the senior side. On Furlong's durability and character, McLaughlin commented:

"It's a great luxury for a coach to have - to say, 'This tight-head can keep trucking for me, and he can actually play the 80 if I wanted him to'.

"I remember when he was a kid... when I was finishing up, he was just coming through with Leinster and he played a couple of games. I remember doing a couple of circuits, in training, with him.

"He is one of those guys. He was never in amazing shape or anything but he's keep trucking and you'd be like, 'Jesus Christ! He has got some engine on him'.

"You could see he was blowing and you could see he was bollixed but he'd just keep going. You could see that on the pitch [in Brisbane]. He doesn't stop trucking.

"And his ability to play a bit of heads up rugby... he could see there was a gap on the short side, there, for his try and he could see that it was [Australia scrum-half] Nick Phipps. He thought, 'I can get the ball and i can steam-roll this guy'."

Steam-roll he certainly did. That was Furlong's first Test try but we suspect there are plenty more to come.

THE HARD YARDS - EPISODE 68

1:30 - Tadhg Furlong's monstrous Pocock clear-out
8:00 - Former Munster star Paul Warwick joins us from Brisbane
16:00 - Australia's trouble producing quality 10s
23:00 - Cian Healy's "brush" with Will Genia
33:00 - Possible Third Test team changes
37:30 - How Paul Warwick ended up at Connacht (Galway Races!)
46:30 - Twitter Qs and international rugby round-up