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Sunday 17 December 2017

Versatile Peter O'Mahony wants to avoid another nightmare hour in Rome

Ireland's Peter O'Mahony
Ireland's Peter O'Mahony

Peter O'Mahony is a master of all trades all across the back row.

Heck, the Munster captain was even pressed into emergency service at wing for Ireland two years ago when they fell to Italy for the first time in the Six Nations.

"I don't know if it was a dream or nightmare now, to be honest," he said.

"I certainly wasn't dreaming about playing on the wing, but sometimes these things happen and you have to adapt and get on with it."

And so he did for an hour.

"Like you ask anyone, you hate losing a lot more than you like winning. It lasts for a lot longer," he said.

"And then it was the last game and you have a long time to wait before you get back in and try and put a performance in and try to put it in some way right.

"It probably hurts that little bit more as well when you have that gap and you put the jersey back in a bad place for a couple of months."

The doubts over Jamie Heaslip's shoulder injury and Seán O'Brien's match sharpness make multi-purpose O'Mahony a candidate for work at six, seven and eight on Saturday.

"I'd always have an eye to the eight slot or just keeping an eye on things, more than anything," he said.

"I played seven against Zebre a few weeks ago. You're kind of at the coal face more than you are at six. At times, I think it gets you into games a bit better.

"You're at almost every first breakdown, regardless of whether it's attacking or defensive. It gets you straight into it."

O'Mahony is not too fussy about where he goes to work, only that he does.

"If I can get a start, I'd play on the wing for ya."

The Cork man views this Italy as different to that of two years ago. They have evolved.

"They've certainly added a few more strings to their bow. They're definitely a more complete team than they were back then.

"I know at ten he (Kelly Haimona) has brought a different dynamic to them.

"They've certainly guys like (Alessandro) Zanni and (Sergio) Parisse back, who didn't play last year."

Ireland have been warned.

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