Peter O’Mahony’s form over the past number of months has been nothing short of incredible. Since being drafted into the starting side against England in the Six Nations by Joe Schmidt, the Cork Con man hasn’t looked back. That incredible performance ensured his place in the Lions squad whilst his three showings so far on the tour have seen him being named as captain for the First Test this Saturday.
It is an amazing turnaround for the Munster man, but nothing undeserved as Mahony has always been a standout player and most importantly a leader among men, something he will have to be against the formidable All Blacks.
Will Greenwood led the praise for O’Mahony, speaking to The Telegraph he said,
“He has been a monster since landing in New Zealand. His leadership and his toughness demanded selection. Another key line-out operator alongside the other world-class jumpers in the pack.
Just an incredible story. On the brink of not making the tour in February-March to suddenly finding himself standing up to the haka as captain.”
Englands 2003 World Cup winning Head Coach, Clive Woodward echoed Greenwood’s sentiment when speaking to The Daily Mail saying,
“First the captaincy. I called Peter O’Mahony as captain last week and he is exactly the right man for the job. He had to start because the back row of Taulupe Faletau, Sean O’Brien and himself is the form combination and the one to cause the All Blacks the most problems.
Having secured that starting role he was the obvious captain. He is tough, inspirational and savvy and has the total respect of all four nations.
That is no slight on Alun Wyn Jones, an illustrious Lion whose experience will be invaluable. The Wales lock will have the task of emptying the tanks and coming off after 50 minutes to be replaced by Maro Itoje. O’Mahony, barring injury, will play the whole game.”
Closer to home there was a touching tribute from Simon Zebo, who was very unfortunate to miss out on selection to the squad, a man who has soldiered beside Mahony since their formative years.
Played together for 22 years,what a captain & player..well deserved #832 pic.twitter.com/RCsbxe7asl
— Simon Zebo (@SimonZebo) June 22, 2017