Bernard Jackman says it "definitely wasn't the right time" for Tadhg Furlong to explore his options outside of Ireland, but the former international believes the prop and Irish rugby will be in a better position next year to negotiate.

Earlier this week, the 28-year-old tighthead extended his contract by one year, up to the end of the 2021/22 season after a prolonged period of negotiations.

The length of the contract raised some eyebrows, though the Lions starter in all three 2017 Tests insisted he is "very happy" at Leinster and admitted there was a longer deal on the table.

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Speaking on the RTÉ Rugby podcast, former Ireland international Bernard Jackman says that the impact of the pandemic, not just on Irish rugby, but also among English and French clubs, meant the prop’s bargaining power was significantly reduced.

Jackman said that while the IRFU "had to be prudent" in the current climate, the main positive is that the Wexford man remains in Irish circles and could well reap the benefits when both parties come to the table next year.

"Ideally, the IRFU would have tied him down for three or four years," he said.

"For a player of his quality going to the market, it definitely wasn't the right time. You’d imagine he feels the contract he was offered by the IRFU wasn’t large enough to tie himself down long term.

"From our point of view, at least we keep him in Ireland, so that's the positive. From Furlong’s point of view, he will see how the economic climate in Irish rugby is in a year’s time, but also, more than likely, the budget of the top English and French clubs will be higher and he will have more bargaining power.

"It’s not ideal, but at least we haven’t lost him.

"I would like to hope that in a year’s time, Irish rugby will be in a better place and we can tie him down until the next World Cup at least and take it from there."

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