O’Mahony will captain the Lions tomorrow in their first test against New Zealand
It has been a season to remember so far for Munster’s Peter O’Mahony, one filled with triumphs both personal and team but also tragedy along with the many ups and downs.
Last Wednesday night the Cork man was was named Lions captain for their first Test against the All Blacks this Saturday. Back in March, the thoughts O’Mahony even being part of the squad looked highly unlikely throughout the Six Nations campaign as he was a sub in majority of the matches.
His only start was against England in Ireland last game of the tournament as Jamie Heaslip was unable to play through injury. O’Mahonys leadership and work rate is what won Ireland that game, he made the most of his opportunity and the game that most likely got him in Warren Gatland’s squad.
After being announced as captain, O’Mahony spoke to the media about the tragedy for O’Mahony and for Munster this season which was the death of head coach Anthony Foley.
A day after Foley’s funeral last October, Munster gave one of their best performances in ages as they beat Glasgow in the Champions Cup. It was a fantastic victory of which Foley would have been very proud.
In his column for The Times yesterday, Donncha O’Callaghan related an back to a moment from that game. One that he will remember forever.
‘He will find the right words. Just as he did the day after Anthony was buried, when in Munster’s Champions Cup game against Glasgow the referee called the two captains together and pleaded for calm. “They’re over-emotional,” Glasgow’s Jonny Gray suggested.
‘O’Mahony pushed him in the chest’.
“Don’t f***ing tell us what emotions we should have,” he said.
‘That was the day we all saw our little brother grow up. A proud moment for the previous generation of Munster men. Last night’s announcement, though, trumped even that’.
‘Seeing him become captain of the Lions is an even prouder moment’ said O Callaghan.