Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

Lions captain O'Mahony inspired by the late Foley

British and Irish Lions captain Peter O’Mahony

Peter O’Mahony will heed the wisdom of the late Munster head coach Anthony Foley when he leads out the British and Irish Lions for the first Test against New Zealand on Saturday.


Foley, who was given the nickname Axel, died at a Paris hotel last October as he was preparing his side for a European Champions Cup match against Racing 92, leaving the rugby world – including Munster skipper O’Mahony – in shock.

But O’Mahony, named Lions captain on Thursday, is determined to underline Foley’s legacy by using his words as inspiration.

“Axel’s a rugby man, so he would have told us all ‘play your game, play what you do and what you know’,” said the flanker.

“He’d have said there’s a reason there’s 45 players here now who have been selected.

“So just go out and play the game you know and do what you’re here to do. There’s no point in trying to be something you’re not over here.

“You’ve been picked for a reason so, if you go out and play as well as you can, no one’s going to fault you for that.


“It’s the Lions against the All Blacks and you have got to use everything you have had over your entire rugby career and try and use it all for Saturday.”

O’Mahony will lead the Lions in place of tour captain Sam Warburton and the 27-year-old conceded it was a scenario he could not have envisaged.

“No, not at all,” he said. “You would hope he [Foley] would be proud.

“It’s been a difficult season, but you try and take as many positives out of it as you can.

“The experiences I have had and we’ve all had here, it’s about learning and growing.”


Join free



Trending on RugbyPass


Be the first to comment...

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

FEATURE Gareth Thomas: 'I’ve always thought I was a bit like Dan Carter.' Gareth Thomas: 'I’ve always thought I was a bit like Dan Carter.'