Munster captain Peter O'Mahony capped a whirlwind year in 2017 coming back from injury, helping Ireland to prevent England from winning consecutive Six Nation's grand slam's, and then captaining the British & Irish Lions in the first test against New Zealand in June.
The Munster captain is being eased back into action since touring win the Lions and made his first appearance of the season for the province in their 39-16 win over the Cardiff Blues last Saturday.
O'Mahony was a guest on Luke Fitzgerald's Left Wing podcast on Monday and discussed how he coped from captaining the side in the first test, to not even being selected in the squad for the remaining two tests,
(Warren) Gatland said; ‘I am going with Sam this week’ and I said; Fair enough that's the way it goes, that’s life.
It's a difficult place to be in but it is another part of professional rugby that you just have to get on with and you have to try and prepare the team that is selected as best you can for Saturday. I was hugely invested in the squad, the team, and my attitude for the squad to win the series didn’t dwindle, I still wanted the boys to win and did everything I could to help them win as best I could and it is part and parcel of rugby these days now.
No wonder the flanker is so highly regarded as a leader among his peers, even though he was disappointed to be left out, the priority was about the team winning and he wanted to drive that as any top captain would.
The 41 capped forward was asked was there any coach or player that impressed him in particular, and he was gushing about some players involved in the English set-up,
I have to second what Seanie (O’Brien) said about Steve (Borthwick), he was incredibly diligent, hard working, very knowledgable, you would see with the way in which the English pack has gone in the last couple of years and having worked with Steve now, they’ve got his stamp all over them and he impressed me a huge amount.
A lot of the English guys impressed me, particularly Saracens guys, they are top of the European tree at the moment and England have been so successful over the years and you can see why they have been so successful, the guys are hungry to win and are probably ahead of the game a little bit they way they are training and going about their business.
Munster have two important matches in the next couple of weeks, they clash with Leinster in the Aviva on Saturday in preparation for their first European Champions Cup game the following week against French side Castres at the Pierre-Antoine stadium and if Munster are to win both, they will need their captain to be in top form.
Listen to Peter O'Mahony on the Left Wing here.