Veteran Irish forward commits to third World Cup campaign
SPOTLIGHT: Peter O’Mahony said on Monday Ireland’s incredible journey under head coach Andy Farrell since the 2019 Rugby World Cup had been the pivotal factor in him signing a year-long extension to his present contract.
The 33-year-old back-row forward’s extension will take him up to the end of the 2023/24 campaign which, barring a serious injury, should see him play in a third World Cup later this year in France.
The 91-times capped O’Mahony – who has captained Ireland 10 times – will like fellow veteran Johnny Sexton be hoping this year finally sees the Irish break their glass ceiling and reach at least the semifinals.
The Munster stalwart has enjoyed plenty of success in the Six Nations since making his debut against Italy in the 2012 tournament.
He has been part of a Six Nations title-winning side on three occasions – the pinnacle being the 2018 Grand Slam – and the 2022 Triple Crown team.
He also captained the British and Irish Lions in the first Test of their series with New Zealand in 2017.
“The journey this Ireland squad has been on since the World Cup in Japan has been incredible to be a part of,” O’Mahony said in an Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) statement.
“There is a hunger to learn and compete and a great camaraderie in the group.
“My ambition is to compete at a third World Cup and help this team achieve success over the coming weeks and months.”
David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, said he was delighted that O’Mahony had committed himself to the team with the World Cup just months away.
There is also a potential first Six Nations Grand Slam since 2018 on the horizon with the Irish facing Italy this Saturday having already beaten Wales and last year’s champions France.
“Peter has been an important figure in Irish rugby for over a decade and has contributed massively to the success the Ireland men’s team has enjoyed across that period,” said Nucifora.
“He is a born leader and galvanises those around him. We are delighted to contract him through the World Cup and into the 2023/24 season.
“A leader like Pete is invaluable to both Ireland and Munster.”