Peter O’Mahony Should Be Applauded For What He Has Done For Players In Ireland

Pay us what we’re worth.

Peter O’Mahony signing a new contract is absolutely brilliant news for Ireland. The Munster skipper is the clear and obvious choice to replace Rory Best in the long-term as Ireland captain, and is an inspiration to many.

O’Mahony is a generational player. A man who brings so much more than consistent performances on the pitch. He’s a leader. He’s someone younger players look up to. He sets the standard for everyone around him. You simply cannot put a value on this.

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What O’Mahony has done for players in Ireland through his contract negotiations however, should not be overlooked. He did not let the IRFU hold him to ransom. He did not let them pay him with an international career. He stood his ground and made it clear that he should be paid what he’s worth.

Sure he could have went to England and France and earned more, but as you can see, it wasn’t about holding the IRFU to ransom as they did to him. It was about getting his true value. Professional rugby players have a short career. It’s a physical game. It can all be over in an instant. When you’re at the top of your game and play an integral role for your province and country, you should get paid bloody well to do it.

This whole business of dangling an international career over a players head like a carrot is nonsense. Yes I agree Ireland, for now, cannot pick overseas players. But you cannot use that unwritten rule to save a few quid on paying your players too.

What O’Mahony has done for his fellow Irish professionals should be applauded. He made it public. He called the IRFU out. He gave players a voice. This relationship works both ways.

The IRFU called Johnny Sexton’s bluff. They weren’t going to make the same mistake with O’Mahony. He simply wouldn’t allow it. Nor will any other players in the future.