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Oppressive heat a Houston problem for Irish


Peter O'Mahony. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Peter O'Mahony. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Peter O'Mahony. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

IRISH tour captain Peter O'Mahony has admitted that he is finding the hot Houston climate tough going ahead of Saturday's meeting with the US.

Temperatures soared to 30 degrees when the squad trained at the city's CES Performance Centre this week, and with similar conditions and 70pc humidity forecast for kick-off, the Irish players are expected to struggle.

Both sets of management are discussing the prospect of following the lead of the Lions in Hong Kong and introducing water breaks during the clash.

But O'Mahony, who will lead his country for the first time at the BBVA Stadium, does not want his players to use the weather as an excuse not to perform.

"It was tough, to be honest with you. I was struggling a bit, the heat is oppressive with the humidity," he said. "We will be playing a bit later and both teams have to play in it so we have to get on with it. We trained in the peak of it, but I'm not sure if it will be much cooler.

"We're probably not going to be here long enough to get used to it, but the American team has only one Texan in it so it will be the same for them.

"Obviously they have played here before, but it isn't like they're hanging out in this heat all the time."

O'Mahony believes the squad assembled by interim coach Les Kiss is bonding well. However, the 23-year-old says that the good spirits and atmosphere will count for nothing if the team do not deliver on Saturday.



"There's a good buzz for the weekend, but all of that training and messing around together doesn't matter a bit once the 80 minutes gets going and we're looking forward to it.

"The USA are going into the test thinking they're going to win it and we will do the same. It is not different to any other Test. It is the same as any other November international or Six Nations. You play every Test as if it is your last, some guys are winning their first cap others are looking to put their hand up."

Much has been made of the arrival of incoming head coach Joe Schmidt and the impact it will have on the Ireland players who are getting a chance. But O'Mahony wants his team to ignore any potential distractions.

"It is a big incentive, but you are a professional representing yourself and your national team. It doesn't matter who is watching. If you have tested yourself and you are happy with your performance, more than likely anyone in the stand will feel the same way," added O'Mahony.