SPEAK SOFTLY AND carry a big stick.
The idiom always suits Peter O’Mahony, if not the Peter O’Mahony we all see take the field on matchdays.
But after training at the Aviva Stadium today, he personified the expression like never before. The stick of wilful intent was gripped tight in his hand, his low voice took the feel of a calm before a coming storm.
O’Mahony in the Aviva this afternoon. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
A Six Nations opener is always going to bring that determined look to the Corkman’s face, when that opener is England at home, the drive is tenfold.
O’Mahony is cranked up and ready to unleash everything he’s got on England. Because the thought of anything else, the idea of losing, doesn’t bear thinking about.
“Fear is always a factor for us,” says the Munster captain with echoes of Paul O’Connell.
“Fear of letting people down, fear of losing. We hate losing.
That brand of fear grows as the loss ratio decreases. Ireland have only tasted defeat once in the last 19 Tests, a run of form that included a Grand Slam and a win over New Zealand. Yet O’Mahony balks at the suggestion there would be any difficulty in summoning the desire to chase that kind of success.
“It’s the hunger. The hunger you have to play for Ireland. If you don’t have that, you’re not in the right place being in this group,” he said methodically.