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Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 18 October, 2018

Ronan O'Mahony wants 'to give Rassie a headache' and push for honours

The Garryowen club man has his sights set on Ireland’s summer tour in the US and Japan.

Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

MUNSTER WING RONAN O’Mahony says his decision to re-sign with the province for another two years was a ‘no-brainer’ for him as he chases a shot at international honours.

O’Mahony has been a revelation for Rassie Erasmus’ side this season, and the Garryowen club man has weighed in with nine tries in 20 appearances so far this campaign.

The flying Limerick man is certain to feature for the province on their trip to Parma to face Zebre on Saturday, and he hopes to be able to force his way past all the returning Irish internationals into the match-day 23 to face Toulouse on Saturday week.

With Keith Earls, Simon Zebo and Andrew Conway all decorated during the Six Nations, O’Mahony is confident that he is not too far from Joe Schmidt’s thoughts, and he is confident that Munster is the play for him to showcase his talents.

“Look, Munster is where I grew up. I have played all my rugby here. I am really enjoying it so far and especially this season. It was a no-brainer for me really. This is where I want to play my rugby. I am loving it at the moment.

“It (the competition) is massive. You have Earlsie, Zeebs, Andy (Conway) now is an international player as well, Darren Sweetnam and myself. The competition is huge but it makes us all better players.

“When you see a fella doing so well and you know that international stage is so close, you keep pushing.

“You want to give Rassie a headache as regards selection, definitely. With Toulouse next week and Zebre this week, there are a couple of spots still up for grabs and this is the last chance for fellas to say this is why I should be selected and give him a good headache for next week.”

Ronan O'Mahony Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

A win against Zebre on Saturday is a minimum for the top-two chasing Munster men, and O’Mahony is keen to play his part once again. Since he signed his first professional deal with the province his brother, Barry, has left the pro ranks, but the younger sibling (27) is keen to show his worth on a regular basis until the end of the season.

And all going according to plan, he will board a flight to Japan with the Ireland squad for his first taste of international rugby in June.

“Absolutely yeah, it is something that when you are growing up you see lads playing for Munster and Ireland and it is something you want to do. It is a natural pathway. It is 100 per cent there. I need to keep focusing on my game.

“It doesn’t feel like it is a million miles away, especially with Earlsie, Zeebs, Andy now, myself and Sweets, hopefully it is just around the corner the international stage, but you just have to keep focused on your own job at the moment, keep playing well, keep feeding off each other, really. Performing well for Munster is the main thing.

“I have never had contact with Joe, but he is a great coach and I know he doesn’t miss a beat. He has his eyes on all players, all back threes, every player across the country, so he knows exactly what we are at. I am sure he is watching, yes.”

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Declan Rooney

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