Absolutely Mind-Blowing Ireland Six Nations Tighthead Prop Stat Emerges

Front-row.

Tighthead props have always been a hot commodity no matter where you go in the world. Real top class ones are a rarity and don’t come along all that often.

In recent years numbers have improved. Ireland has had the likes of Tadhg Furlong, John Ryan and Andrew Porter to fill the number three shirt in recent years while England now have Kyle Sinckler to fill Dan Cole’s boots.

But while Ireland may be pretty well stocked right now, that wasn’t the case for many years. John Hayes was forced to stay on in the green shirt well past his expiration date and the same can be said for Mike Ross when he replaced him.

And to be fair, while guys like Porter and Ryan are top talents, Furlong is on another level. But we were still absolutely blown away by this stat when we came across it, simply because it’s something you don’t really stop to think about.

96% of Ireland’s matches in the Six Nations have started with either John Hayes, Mike Ross or Furlong at tighthead prop. That is absolutely insane. And even better is the fact that Hayes started 54% of them, showing just how important he was to Ireland for such a long time.

In fact, Hayes didn’t miss a single match in the Six Nations from debut to retirement. Absolutely incredible. Fair play to Simon Gleave for crunching the numbers on this.