Sunday, November 13, 2022

By Ed Elliot, PA, Dublin

Ireland prop Jeremy Loughman is determined not to be a one-cap wonder as he gears up to mark his international debut by performing a Natasha Beddingfield number.

America-born Loughman made his Test bow as a starter in Saturday’s 35-17 win over Fiji, with replacements Jack Crowley and Cian Prendergast taking the tally of debutants under Andy Farrell to 29.

While many of those newcomers have gone on to establish themselves in Farrell’s squad, plenty others have drifted away.

Munster man Loughman was stunned to be named in the Irish starting XV and is eager to ensure he secures further opportunities amid stiff loosehead competition from Leinster pair Andrew Porter and Cian Healy.

“It was such an amazing day, something you look forward to and dream about so much from when you’re a young kid,” he said.

“It’s been a long journey and to get that (first cap), the confidence builds in yourself and the drive to do it again is incredible.

“I could feel it straight away after. I was like, ‘I’d love a bit of this again now’. I don’t want to make it a one-cap thing, I want to keep driving on and getting better and better every game.

“My parents unfortunately couldn’t make it over from the States but I know they were watching.”

 

Loughman, who was born in Reno, Nevada, played 62 minutes of a match in which the Irish often stuttered but still ran out comfortable victors.

Having experienced the intensity of a Dublin Test match, the 27-year-old is now preparing to be pushed out of his comfort zone courtesy of an initiation song.

“I haven’t sung it yet, I think I have it coming up,” he said.

“It’s Unwritten by Natasha Beddingfield. It’s the only one I know when the pressure comes on. I’ll be under a bit of pressure there.”

Head coach Farrell made nine personnel changes to the starting line-up which toppled world champions South Africa last weekend.

Loughman revealed the surprise of his selection initially left him unsure as to who he would be lining up alongside.

“We were sitting in the meeting when the team went up, I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

“To see my name there in a starting role, it took me off guard a little. I couldn’t even remember the rest of the team!

“It wasn’t until I went out to training that I could see the rest of the team, who was around me. It was incredible, an unforgettable moment. I can’t really put into words how special it was.

“I was straight on to text the family group chat and my girlfriend. They were non-stop ringing me, I think they forgot I had a full day of training.”

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