PETER O’MAHONY will join an illustrious club when he captains the Lions on Saturday morning against the New Zealand Maori, 8.35am (Irish time).
Cork Constitution legends Noel Murphy, Tommy Kiernan and Donal Lenihan have all captained touring Lions sides and O’Mahony has followed in their footsteps when he was named by Warren Gatland to captain a different Reds team this weekend.
The Munster flanker has shown his leadership qualities since he was in school says former Ireland full back and Cork Con manager Kenny Murphy.
Murphy was manager of the Con team coached by Brian Walsh and Brian Hickey when O’Mahony was playing with the club and says that Gatland has now seen what everyone else has seen in Munster for the last two seasons.
“Peter has always had leadership qualities even when he was in Pres and when he was in Con. He has shown over the last two seasons showing what he brings to Munster and Warren Gatland said something along the lines of him bringing a bit of Munster doginess, you definitely need that in New Zealand or they will eat you there.
“It’s a huge honour for the club, my dad (Noel), Tommy and Donal have all captained the Lions and of course Zeebs was our last Lion and you have Donncha O’Callaghan and ROG as well so there is a huge history of Con players going to Ireland, Munster, Ireland and the Lions and I’m sure he’ll shine. He has been one of the standout players so far and especially in the lineout, he has stolen a few of them.
“If he has another good outing this weekend he might even be kept as captain. The Lions only comes around every four years so it’s special and it’s really special to captain the side but Peter has earned that right by the way he plays and put his body on the line.”