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Dublin: 6°C Monday 18 January 2021

POM as a captain: 'He doesn’t say much, but says things to prickle the hairs on the back of your neck'

Greg Feek hailed the leadership credentials of Peter O’Mahony as he prepares his pack for a second bout with Japan.

Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

By John Fallon in Tokyo

IRELAND SCRUM COACH Greg Feek says that Peter O’Mahony has all the credentials to take the Lions into battle against his native New Zealand.

The former All Black has seen at first-hand what O’Mahony can deliver under pressure, such as earlier this year when he returned from lengthy injury to put England to the sword.

“We know what he brings. Hopefully, if he has a few more of the Irish boys around him, we know they’ll bring. Hopefully there’s a few more in there.

“We all know how passionate he is about the game and the way he goes about things. He’s a leader that leads from the front. He says ‘follow me’ and doesn’t shirk the hard yards,” said Feek, speaking in Tokyo as Ireland prepare for the second and concluding test against Japan on Saturday.

Joe Schmidt with Rob Penny Rob Penney, who named Peter O'Mahony Munster captain, at Ireland training today. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

O’Mahony’s performance against England didn’t surprise Feek, and he has no doubt about what he can do heading into the tests with the All Blacks.

“I just think that the conditions at the time (against England) and the conditions in New Zealand, there’s probably some rain coming because there’s that time of the year. When it becomes a bit more set piece (orientated) and physical exchanges, he excels in that.

He brings certain things outside of the field and in the changing room.  He’s the sort of guy that doesn’t say too much but says things that prickle the hairs on the back of your neck, but he’s a good man off it too.”

Meanwhile, Ireland a number of injury concerns as they bid to back up last weekend’s 50-22 win over the Brave Blossoms, with scrum-half Luke McGrath, prop Finlay Bealham and flanker Dan Leavy all sitting out training this morning with facial or eye injuries.

All three are expected to be available, while full-back Simon Zebo has shaken off a knee injury.

“Yeah, he trained,” added Feek. “Everyone trained bar those three who had pokes. At the moment there isn’t a doubt about the three but we have to wait and see over the next couple of days as they only trained partially. They couldn’t do any contact stuff.”

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John Fallon

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