Rugby

Austin Healey Sees Important Lions Role For Peter O'Mahony After England Win

Austin Healey Sees Important Lions Role For Peter O'Mahony After England Win

The Aviva Fan Studio was a hive of action and analysis during Ireland v England on Saturday. Andrew Trimble, Jenny Murphy and David Wallace were joined by the clown prince of English rugby Austin Healey.

Healey broke from type and was unusually magnanimous after the result, despite getting a few barbs in about the Irish weather. Joking aside, he did offer some telling insight on Peter O'Mahony's man of the match performance and the role the Corkman might play on the Lions tour this summer.

Healey seemed to think that O'Mahony was certain to be picked by Warren Gatland for the tour of New Zealand. And though he doesn't O'Mahony starting against the Test matches against the All Blacks, he envisioned O'Mahony playing an important role in the Lions squad.

"I don't think he's going to be in the Test team, I don't think he's going to be in that Test backrow against the All Blacks, maybe on the bench, but he's exactly the sort of guy, just like Dai Young was in 2001, the kind of guy that carries the Tour for the midweek and keeps it going week after week. Because it's hard when you're on the second team on a Lions tour. You can lose focus, especially in New Zealand, and I think O'Mahony would be an excellent choice for that man."

Healey played on the '97 and '01 Lions tours so he knows what he's talking about. It was quite a weekend for O'Mahony, who has gone from Ireland's odd man out in the backrow to a lock for Lions selection. What would have happened if Jamie Heaslip hadn't tweaked his hamstring?

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You can catch the rest of the thoughts of the Aviva Fan Studio panel on O'Mahony and the other big talking points from a famous Ireland win in the video below.

Kieran Greene

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