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Munster Legend Recalls Moment Of Exceptional Leadership From O'Mahony On Emotional Day

Munster Legend Recalls Moment Of Exceptional Leadership From O'Mahony On Emotional Day

It has been an extraordinary season for Peter O'Mahony, one filled with triumphs - both personal and team - but also tragedy.

On Wednesday night O'Mahony was named Lions skipper for the first Test against the All Blacks this weekend. O'Mahony even being part of the squad looked highly unlikely throughout the Six Nations.

His sole start was against England due to the misfortune of Jamie Heaslip. That was an opportunity he seized, catapulting himself into the reckoning for Warren Gatland's squad.

After being named captain, O'Mahony spoke to the media about the tragedy which befell Munster this season - the death of head coach Anthony Foley. O'Mahony said he takes the job knowing the advice Foley would have given him, 'play your game, play what you do and what you know'.

A day after Anthony Foley's funeral last October, on a wave of incredible emotion, Munster gave one of their best performances in ages as they beat Glasgow in the Champions Cup. It was a victory of which Foley would have been proud.

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In his column for The Times today, Donncha O'Callaghan related an anecdote from that game. He believes it was the day Munster players who had watched O'Mahony rise through the academy realised that their 'little brother' had become a man.

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.

Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

See Also: The British Media Reaction To Peter O'Mahony Being Named Lions Captain

PJ Browne
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