RONAN O’Gara believes former teammate Peter O’Mahony’s explosive power is needed for next Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations Championship clash with Wales.
After his display against Scotland, O’Mahony was named in the starting lineup for the clash at the Aviva.
O’Gara, who was in the Courtyard on Sober Lane in Cork for the Guinness Six Nations kicking simulator challenge with Wales rival Shane Williams, has worked and trained with O’Mahony and says it is his explosive power that makes him stand out.
“The main thing about Peter O’Mahony is his character,” said O’Gara.
“He’s gonna face a lot more hurdles as he gets older, but, like he’s shown — he’s in for the long haul. Once you’re in for the long haul, there are different kinds of rules.
“He’s proven his capacity to play at that level, all he needs to do is hope he can keep injury-free and be as fit as he can be. And when he does that, he has the class.”
He is a player Ireland need for the Wales clash, says the Cork rugby legend, especially given Ireland’s recent form.
“He’s a guy you need, and Ireland will need him this weekend because he doesn’t like losing,” said O’Gara. “I think Ireland are in testing ground at the minute, and they need people like him because people think that this is a new departure — but the form of this team hasn’t been good for a while now.”
One of two changes in the Ireland line-up, O’Mahony starts in place of Caelan Doris. Robbie Henshaw replaces Garry Ringrose, and Keith Earls is back in the match-day squad after being left out last weekend.
IRELAND: J Larmour, A Conway, R Henshaw, B Aki, J Stockdale, J Sexton, C Murray, C Healy, R Herring, T Furlong, I Henderson, J Ryan, P O’Mahony, J van der Flier, CJ Stander.
Replacements: R Kelleher, D Kilcoyne, A Porter, D Toner, M Deegan, J Cooney, R Byrne, K Earls.