O'Mahony modelling the new Munster European jersey, which pays homage to the 2006 Heineken Cup win. Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

The sniff of competitive rugby has Peter O'Mahony straining at the leash

The Corkman is looking forward to ‘ throwing myself about and seeing how I get on’.

IRELAND FLANKER PETER O’Mahony can’t wait to get back in action after a year on the sideline through injury.

The 27-year-old blindside flanker has not featured for Munster since May 2015, after he picked a knee ligament injury in Ireland’s World Cup victory over France at the Millennium Stadium.

The Munster skipper damaged his cruciate and left the field in the 55th minute of that memorable 24-9 victory in the Pool D decider and he hasn’t played a minute of rugby since then.

The Cork Con clubman has 35 caps for his country and scored 10 tries in 71 appearances for Munster since his debut in 2009-10. He has returned to full training and while he can’t wait to get back, he expects a battle for the jersey every week.

“Jack O’Donoghue and Dave O’Callaghan have been outstanding in the last four or five weeks. I don’t have to talk about CJ, he is playing really well for the last two or three years.

“It has always been bred in Munster that there is competition and for whatever reason there is a bizarre amount of quality, talent wise there as well.

All you can do is feed off it and that is certainly what the lads have been doing and I have been doing in the last few weeks watching them, and training with them.

“It is great to be training alongside such quality and pushing yourself with them.”

Prior to his injury, O’Mahony had never suffered a lower body injury, with a number of shoulder complaints instead, and he has used this time off to work on his upper body. But he is hungry to get out on the field, and with some massive inter-pros and European clashes ahead, O’Mahony is primed to make his presence felt.

“It’s funny when you are being selected all the time and you are in every session. You take it for granted.

“But now every time for the last two or three weeks when I have lacing up the boots to go out and do a full session it has been really exciting for me and something I would like to continue in my mindset before I take the training pitch.

“Just enjoying it and enjoying the feeling of being in the dressing room and being ready to go with the squad.

Peter O'Mahony Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

“It will take me probably another couple of weeks for that kind of thing (to deal with the hits). I haven’t played, there is only so much you can simulate in training.

“It will be me getting out there now and throwing myself about and seeing how I get on.

“I got a lot of work through my shoulders and upper body and traps and neck and all of that. That injury gives you an opportunity.

“Up to this injury, all of my other injuries have been upper body. It was nice to get a real good couple of months through my upper body and hopefully that will stand to me over the next couple of years.”

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