Tuesday 17 September 2019

Peter O'Mahony will heed Paul O'Connell's advice to enjoy big occasions

Vodafone Ireland, main sponsor of the Ireland Rugby team, has presented Peter O’Mahony, Chris Farrell, Joey Carbery and Jacob Stockdale with Ireland’s Ball ahead of the team’s departure to Japan. To celebrate this, Vodafone created a unique rugby ball with a bespoke grip containing the fingerprints of 32 different people from every county in Ireland. Ireland’s Ball will travel to Japan with the team as a symbol of the Team Of Us support for Irish Rugby from fans in Ireland and around the world.
Vodafone Ireland, main sponsor of the Ireland Rugby team, has presented Peter O’Mahony, Chris Farrell, Joey Carbery and Jacob Stockdale with Ireland’s Ball ahead of the team’s departure to Japan. To celebrate this, Vodafone created a unique rugby ball with a bespoke grip containing the fingerprints of 32 different people from every county in Ireland. Ireland’s Ball will travel to Japan with the team as a symbol of the Team Of Us support for Irish Rugby from fans in Ireland and around the world.
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Although he was the leading lock of his generation, nerves often got the better of Paul O'Connell, which meant that he wasn't able to savour some of the most special moments of his career.

It's one of the few regrets that the former Ireland captain has from his playing days and when he was invited into the team hotel last week, O'Connell was keen to pass on a few words of advice that he will hope helps the players bound for Japan to avoid the same kind of traps that he fell into.

Such is the intense level of scrutiny that players are put under every time they take to the pitch nowadays, one wonders if many of them get to enjoy it at all.

From the outside looking in, Peter O'Mahony is one of the more intense players in the current Ireland squad and he admits that he sometimes does struggle to relish the moment. O'Connell, however, did his best to change his former team-mates' ways.

"He was saying to enjoy it, he said there were times he should have enjoyed it more than he did," O'Mahony revealed. "Sometimes you do (struggle to enjoy it). It's all-encompassing and you have to remember why you play the game.

"These are the seven or eight weeks, the reason you play the game, and you've got to enjoy it. Sometimes that can get lost a bit, with how serious it is, the pressure, but you always come back to why you're doing it."

The experience of the 2015 World Cup will help, but O'Mahony's personal situation has changed a lot since then and he is now a father to a very young family.

As the Munster captain alluded to, however, this is why every young kid plays the game as they dream of playing at a World Cup.

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With that thought firmly lodged in his head, O'Mahony is determined to make the most of it.

"It's difficult, certainly, but these opportunities don't come around very often and guys who've made the 31 have been training for a long time for this," he added.

"They're very rare, every four years. If you get to one or two you should consider yourself very lucky.

"For me, it's an incredible opportunity to go away and enjoy every minute of it."

• Munster have bolstered their squad with the addition of Australian forward Jed Holloway.

As exclusively revealed by Independent.ie last week, Holloway will make the move to Limerick as World Cup cover with Peter O'Mahony, Tadhg Beirne, Jean Kleyn and CJ Stander all away on international duty.

Holloway (26), who can play at lock and back-row, joins on a two-month deal from the Waratahs.

Former Munster players Paddy Butler and Peter McCabe are also training with the squad.

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