2017 has been quite the year for Peter O’Mahony. The year began for the Cork man with him still nursing himself back to health after a torn ACL suffered at the 2015 RWC.
O’Mahony returned to the Irish side in March to put in a tour de force performance against England to prevent a Grand Slam for Eddie Jones’ men.
Although seen as a bolter to some extent, O’Mahonys performance coupled with Munsters excellent season saw the Munster captain selected to Warren Gatlands squad.
Now it looks likely that Mahony will lead the Lions out this Saturday in the first test against New Zealand. An impressive display as captain last Saturday against the Maoiri All Blacks cemented his status as favourite.
There is a chance however that Mahony will not be selected in the XV but should be chosen and indeed picked as captain, there will be no grumblings from the camp with many already praising O’Mahony. Likely Test hooker Jamie George thinks the Munsterman is a good fit for the role.
“Pete did a fantastic job I thought,”
“He doesn’t over-talk, he doesn’t feel he has to talk every time. But when he does talk, he talks brilliantly and everybody listens and he’s a fantastic role model and someone very easy to follow,”
Assistant head coach Andy Farrell echoed the sentiment:
“I’d be more than comfortable, I’d be more than comfortable with a number of players being able to do that. To be honest, it’d be the easiest team to captain because there’s so many leaders out there.”
If Mahony is indeed selected, it will be richly deserved. He was an outside in Joe Schmidt’s plans until he was thrown in against England in the 6 Nations and the Corkman certainly took his chance. O’Mahony personifies hunger and commitment, the kind of player that is so often underrated but when presented with opportunities will do everything to take them.