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Opportunity knocks for O'Mahony

MUNSTER forward Peter O'Mahony will make his full debut for Ireland against Scotland in the Six Nations tomorrow because a foot infection has forced the withdrawal of Leinster's Seán O'Brien.

The Tullow Tank (18 caps) has been temporarily derailed by injury as 22-year-old O'Mahony completes what has been a meteoric rise to international recognition.

It is thought that O'Brien should recover in time to come back into contention for the St Patrick's Day tussle with England at Twickenham.

The Cork Constitution clubman, O'Mahony, has already shown his leadership qualities as the Ireland U20 captain in 2010 and made his Munster debut against Ulster in what was the Magner's League in January 2010.

It didn't take Munster coach Tony McGahan long to acknowledge his value by awarding him his full contract at the beginning of last season and making him captain at the start of the PRO12 League while the frontline internationals were at the World Cup. He is known for his very Munster total commitment, tendency to play right on the edge and a knack for finding the ball wherever and however he can.

Leinster's experienced openside Shane Jennings will move up to the bench.

Meanwhile, Paul O'Connell is hopeful that he can return to action for Munster in their Heineken Cup quarter-final clash against Ulster despite being ruled out of the remainder of the Six Nations owing to knee trouble.

O'Connell damaged his medial ligaments during last Sunday's draw in Paris."I remember exactly when it happened in the match," he said. "It was the 61st minute and Thierry Dusautoir tackled me side-on and the knee buckled.

"I hobbled around, but the adrenalin kicked in and I was able to play on without too much discomfort. As soon as the match finished, though, I knew I was in a bit of trouble. The prognosis is four to six weeks, with the Ulster match falling in the middle of that, but I would be very hopeful to be back in time for that game."