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Peter O'Mahony confirmed as Ireland captain for summer tour

The news follows Rory Best’s addition to the British and Irish Lions squad.

Peter O'Mahony sings the national anthem with Simon Zebo (l) and Donnacha Ryan (r).
Peter O'Mahony sings the national anthem with Simon Zebo (l) and Donnacha Ryan (r).
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

THE IRFU HAS confirmed that Munster back-row Peter O’Mahony will captain Ireland for the upcoming tour to North America.

The announcement, made by the IRFU on Twitter, comes less than two hours after Rory Best, originally named as captain, was selected for the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.

O’Mahony will lead Ireland for the Test matches against the US Eagles, in Houston, and Canada, in Toronto. He has previously captained Munster and the Ireland U20′s.

The Cork native made his Ireland debut in last year’s Six Nations championship against Italy. Following two Test starts and four appearances, as flanker, off the bench, O’Mahony began at No. 8 in the heavy away defeat to New Zealand in Hamilton.

He shifted to blindside for the November internationals against South Africa and Argentina and retained his place there for the 2013 Six Nations. The 23-year-old also had the dubious honour of playing almost a full hour on the wing for Ireland, in March, when both Keith Earls and Luke Fitzgerald were struck down by injury.

O’Mahony, in a March interview with TheScore.ie, gave a glimpse of the uncompromising nature that interim coach Les Kiss and Munster coach Rob Penney belief will see him lead his country from the front for year’s to come. Ireland had lost Six Nations games to England and Scotland and prepared to welcome France to Lansdowne Road.

O’Mahony said,”Obviously, no-one likes losing. With results going the way they’ve gone, you have to, just, dust yourself off and get on with things.”

He added, “It is up to the players this week to show what we are about and where we want to be.”

The loss of Best for Ireland’s upcoming matches has been offset by the promotion of Leinster hooker Sean Cronin to the senior squad.

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Patrick McCarry

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