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Emerging red giant has 'McCaw-like' quality

PETER O'MAHONY'S club coach believes he has a "Richie McCaw-like" quality and should be played regularly in the No 7 role, WRITES HUGH FARRELLY.

Brian Walsh coached O'Mahony straight out of school with Cork Constitution in the All-Ireland League and has not been surprised with the youngster's rapid development which saw him made Munster captain on this 22nd birthday last month.

"Peter is developing that all the time and he brings a Richie McCaw-like approach in his size, athleticism, aggression and the way he plays the breakdown," said Walsh.

"He is an extremely athletic player, a very good line-out option and a very physical player, he is seen as the next Alan Quinlan for Munster -- although he has a way to go to reach Quinlan's cuteness.

"There is a raw edge to his game which has got him quite a few yellow cards -- in his first two games for us, he was carded in both. We had a chat with him after that. We didn't want him to lose that edge, just to control it a bit better.

"It was very clever and a very progressive move by Munster management to make him captain," added Walsh. "He has a history of captaincy and is comfortable in that role and I would say one of his strongest qualities is his work ethic, which sets a good example.

"I definitely think it would be a very important part of Peter's development to play at 7 at a higher level. There is a role for the hybrid No 7 where, as you saw with McCaw at the World Cup, you can marry ball-carrying with breakdown skills."

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