| 14.7°C Dublin

O'Mahony: We must be strict with movements so we can keep training

Close

GreenAware ambassador Peter O’Mahony is highlighting how small changes can make a big impact on the environment as part of the #DoBitsHelpLots campaign. Photo: INPHO

GreenAware ambassador Peter O’Mahony is highlighting how small changes can make a big impact on the environment as part of the #DoBitsHelpLots campaign. Photo: INPHO

�INPHO/Dan Sheridan

GreenAware ambassador Peter O’Mahony is highlighting how small changes can make a big impact on the environment as part of the #DoBitsHelpLots campaign. Photo: INPHO

As of Monday, all four provinces have been back in training, Every player who returned did so of his own accord and in full understanding of the risks involved. 

The country may be slowly reopening, but Covid-19 hasn't suddenly disappeared.

Some players won't have had any concerns about being back amongst their team-mates. Others had some reservations due to their own personal situation.

A considerable amount of professionals in Ireland still live at home with their parents, which has caused some anxiety, while others have young children who they must be mindful of.

Peter O'Mahony falls into the second category, and although the Munster and Ireland back-row has been relieved to get back to some sort of normality, he is very wary of putting his two young kids at risk.

"Look, there are some doubts," O'Mahony admits.

"It's new for everyone. You run through different things in your head. I am very confident in the Government, for one, the way they have looked after the situation.

"We are working from their guidelines. I am very confident in that. I am very confident in the IRFU, the way they have handled our situation with regard to implementing the restrictions around what we can and can't do.

"I am very confident in Munster after how they kitted out and laid out the high-performance centre. I am very confident in all those organisations to look after me and the players and the public in general as best as they can.

"As much as you are hugely hungry to get back playing the sport, you needed to have the confidence in those people to do it. They have shown some great governance over the last three or four months to get us back to the training ground.

"As a general rule, guys are delighted to be back."

The positive mood around the high-performance centres in Limerick, Dublin, Galway and Belfast comes with a major warning that if one player or backroom staff member tests positive, Irish rugby could be quickly halted once again.

"At the moment, we need to be still as strict with our movements as possible to keep us back in training," O'Mahony continues.

"Even with some of the restrictions having been lifted, we still have to be very mindful of where we are going, who we are going anywhere with.

"We are trying to restrict ourselves to as little movement as possible. Guys have to get on with life in some ways but we understand that as soon as one of us pick this (virus) up, you are potentially putting the whole IRFU playing group into jeopardy.

Noises

"Look, we have to take those things into consideration and know that there is a huge amount of responsibility on our shoulders again with regard to looking after ourselves, and being as diligent as possible with all the possibilities."

As it is, the noises coming out of the provinces have been encouraging as everyone adheres to the strict protocols that are in place.

Irish rugby is working towards an August 22 restart date, with Munster set to take on Leinster at the Aviva, with Connacht and Ulster going head-to-head the following day. The fixtures are due to be confirmed within the next fortnight.

Munster's hand will be considerably strengthened for that trip to Dublin, as they will be able to call on the likes of RG Snyman and Damian de Allende, who hopes to shake off a knock by then.

The first images of Snyman in Munster's colours emerged late last week with the giant lock casually carrying a watt bike in one hand as if it was a loaf of bread.

Munster supporters are hugely excited to see what the World Cup-winning duo can bring to the province, and if O'Mahony's first impressions of Snyman are anything to go by, they are in for a treat.

"He is an incredible specimen altogether, I have never seen anything like it," the Munster captain enthuses.

"He looks like he can shift as well, doing speed work. He is a serious looking athlete.

"You go through the provinces who have won the European Cup and the PRO14, you look at the teams in those days, and they have had world-class signings in nearly every one of them.

"They are the kind of calibre of player that you sign to win trophies with. They're very important to us, whatever way you look at it, and you'd hope and you'd like to think that the guys we've signed this summer will be with us for a long time, and will add a huge amount to us."

Irish Independent