Saturday 24 March 2018

O'Mahony out to carve own niche as Boys in Green's specialist seven

Peter O'Mahony is another jack of all the back-row trades, intent on mastering one.

"I'd like to play seven. I'd like to learn more at seven. I am not there yet. I don't think anybody is. I'm learning and I'm enjoying it," he said, in that mature manner that confirms his rise to international rugby.

The 22-year-old Cork man may be able to master the arts of the very specialist skills required from a seven to be a link in attack and a real presence as first man in at the breakdown to secure or steal ball.

"Even the way I am built, it would suit me to play at seven. If I'm picked, I will play in the front row if I have to. I am sure any other player will tell you that. If you're picked, you're happy out," he added.

The Cork Constitution loose forward is revered for his 100pc commitment to contact whether he is carrying the ball or meeting the carrier head-on.

Former England centre Will Greenwood mentioned last week how he was impressed with the two pasty-faced Irish forwards before Scotland were taken apart. He meant it in the best possible way.

There is something of the old style 'dogs of war' about O'Mahony and Donnacha Ryan in the manner in which they go about the game. They relish competition.

How did O'Mahony find the first quarter?

"The morning was stressful. The warm-up was good," he said. "The first 10 minutes were quite quick. The ball wasn't out of play for very long periods.

"We were defending a lot as well, so we were on the back foot. It was tiring. But it was great, a great experience. I felt my way into the game nice and early."

O'Mahony is very much his own man. He is not keen to hold any other player in awe. Not Richie McCaw. Not David Pocock. Not Thierry Dusautoir.

"I like to think I set out my stall as a different player to them," he claimed. "I don't look in particular to any one of them, but you would like to have traits from all of them."

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