Andy Farrell on what Peter O’Mahony is “one of the very best” at ahead of 100th cap
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Leader of men.
Peter O’Mahony will become just the 10th player for Ireland to reach 100 Test caps when he steps out on the pitch for his country this weekend against Scotland in the Rugby World Cup.
O’Mahony will become just the 10th player to become an Irish centurion alongside Brian O’Driscoll (133), Ronan O’Gara (128), Cian Healy (124), Rory Best (124), Johnny Sexton (113), Paul O’Connell (108), John Hayes (105), Conor Murray (105) and Keith Earls (101).
The blindside flanker has been a key figure for Ireland under Andy Farrell and at 34 years of age is playing some of the best rugby of his career.
But it’s not just what he offers on the pitch that makes O’Mahony such an important figure for Ireland – off the pitch, his leadership has been simply invaluable.
“We can it here all day the two of us and talk about what he brings, what he means to us all, what type of bloke he is, what type of family man he is, but we’d be here the whole press conference. To sum him up, he’s selfless,” Farrell said.
“You guys would see the performance on the pitch and it’s heroic from Pete. You can see what it means for him to play for Ireland, but we obviously see behind the scenes and he’s definitely, 100%, one of the best I’ve ever seen at making the dressing room feel right.
“And it’s not just a skill. It’s him being himself because it’s genuine and I’m sure Johnny [Sexton] would echo this, that there’s no better man that you would want sat at the side of you in the dressing room at the weekend than Peter O’Mahony.
“He’s a selfless player that gives everything to his team-mates, a fantastic team-mate, top-drawer as far as a team-mate is concerned and he backs that up with consistent performances week-in, week-out for Ireland and for Munster.”
Ireland captain Johnny Sexton repeated Farrell’s sentiments, really hammering home how big a figure O’Mahony is behind the scenes.
“Obviously a leader in the group, very different to some of the leaders,” Sexton said.
“He knows the dressing room, he’s such a huge part of it. I don’t think you guys get to see the real Peter O’Mahony. He gives very little away when he sits up here, one-word answers, but he’s the life and soul of the dressing room behind closed doors and it’s a privilege to play with him all the time.”
“We’ll be playing for him as much as we are for ourselves on Saturday.
“He’s been a great friend of mine over the last however many years we’ve been playing together, probably ten, 11, 12 years, I’m not sure exactly. Like Faz [Farrell] said, a consistent performer, a big-game player, I would say.”