The old stock at Munster have always been aware of O’Mahony’s capabilities as a leader.
Since the announcement that Peter O’ Mahony will captain the Lions, in the their first Test against New Zealand, tributes have poured in for the Munster man. There have been moments dragged up by legends of the game that tell of O’Mahony’s leadership qualities. Donncha O’Callaghan may have found the perfect moment to encapsulate O’ Mahony’s these qualities though.
Writing for The Times, O’Callaghan remembers the day Munster steamrolled Glasgow, in the wake of Anthony Foley’s passing. On an emotionally charged day, it was O’Mahony who set the tone for his team. O’Callaghan wrote:
“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 Munstermen. Last night’s announcement, though, trumped even that.
“Seeing him become captain of the Lions is an even prouder moment.”
As can be seen from the above extract, O’Mahony is the type of character who earns respect, through his actions. He is not the type of character to be intimidated, be it by person, occasion or atmosphere. That raw aggression and burning desire has made him the perfect candidate to lead the Lions against the All Blacks. While he may have been an outsider for a test jersey at the outset of the tour, it is clear Peter O’Mahony is the beating heart of the Lions now.
Noel Ryan, Pundit Arena
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