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'I haven’t played enough' - O'Mahony feels another Lions tour is out of reach

The Munster captain hopes to feature in Ireland’s tour of the Pacific Islands if it goes ahead.

O'Mahony was a Lions tourist in 2017.
O'Mahony was a Lions tourist in 2017.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

PETER O’MAHONY ENDED up captaining the Lions for their first Test against New Zealand last time they toured in 2017 but the Cork man feels another trip with Warren Gatland’s squad is beyond him due to his lack of game time in recent months.

The Munster captain was red-carded early on in Ireland’s opening game of the Six Nations against Wales and missed the remainder of the championship as a result.

He then suffered a laceration to his leg in Munster’s Pro14 final defeat to Leinster and missed their Champions Cup round-of-16 loss to Toulouse with that injury.

It all means that O’Mahony only has one game – this weekend’s Rainbow Cup meeting with Leinster – before Gatland names his Lions squad to tour South Africa on 6 May.

As such, the 31-year-old isn’t getting his hopes up.

“Look, I don’t think I’ve played enough rugby if I’m honest with myself,” said O’Mahony yesterday. “That’s just the way the cards have fallen.

“Obviously, the Six Nations is a big one at this time of the year and unfortunately that didn’t go very well with the way I ended up with the red card. That’s just the way it went and unfortunately I haven’t played enough to consider myself for that tour.

“But hopefully I’ll be looking forward to the tour of Fiji if that goes ahead and I’m picked with selection with Ireland on that, so there’s plenty to play for with Ireland and the Rainbow Cup now. I’m looking forward to putting a run of games together hopefully.”

peter-omahony O'Mahony is due to return this weekend against Leinster. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

O’Mahony is fit again after that deep cut he picked up against Leinster – something of a freak injury.

“I just got a stud,” explained O’Mahony. “You get a graze off it at somewhat of an angle, I just got it straight on, rather than a cut, it kind of cut through my leg and I think the problem was that there was a chance of an infection as the cut was quite bad.

“So I spent a couple of nights in hospital and I didn’t train with the team enough really and I was quite sore, to be honest with you, and unfortunately I couldn’t take the field with the lads.”

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O’Mahony is set for his return against Leinster, however, and said he’s excited about Munster’s mission of pushing for a trophy in the coming months and seasons.

The captain welcomed RG Snyman’s progress into the final stages of his rehab from a long-term knee injury, while he’s also looking forward to Simon Zebo’s return to Munster this summer.

“It’s great to have him back, above all he’s a special rugby player and that’s what, you know, we need to win. He’ll know himself he has a lot of work to do to come back in but no better man for big occasions and at times when we’ve needed to play well he’s always stepped up to the plate for us.

“So look, it’s always good to have another Corkman in the squad and another Munster man back in the club.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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