MUNSTER winger Ronan O’Mahony who turns 28 this May, is looking to wear the green jersey of Ireland in the coming months, following his best season with Munster.
The former Garryowen star, who recently signed a new 2 yer contract with the province, sees Andrew Conway as an inspiration to all the uncapped Munster players, that if you work hard and play well for Munster, Ireland will come calling.
“It is something that when you are growing up you see lads playing for Munster and Ireland and it is something you want to do. It is a natural pathway. It is 100% there. I need to keep focusing on my game. It doesn’t feel like it is a million miles away, especially with Earlsie, Zeebs, Andy now, myself and Sweets, hopefully it is just around the corner the international stage, but you just have to keep focused on your own job at the moment, keep playing well, keep feeding off each other, really. Performing well for Munster is the main thing” O’Mahony added.
Joe Schmidt hasn’t been in touch just yet, but with Ireland expected to send 10+ players to the Lions Tour to New Zealand, spots could be up for grabs for an Irish tour of the USA and Japan.
“I have never had contact with Joe, but he is a great coach and I know he doesn’t miss a beat. He has his eyes on all players, all back threes, every player across the country, so he knows exactly what we are at. I am sure he is watching, yes.”
With the aforementioned Earls, Zebo and Conway all to come back to a back three which has been served well by O’Mahony, Sweetnam and Taute, there is going to me immense pressure for places ahead of the Champions Cup quarter final tie with Toulouse on April 1.
“It’s massive. You have Earlsie, Zeebs, Andy (Conway) now is an international player as well, Darren Sweets and myself. The competition is huge but it makes us all better players. All the lads will tell you that as well.
“At training we are all feeding off each other. When you see a fella doing so well and you know that international stage is so close, you keep pushing. We compliment each other, everyone brings different attributes, their own game, it has been very good so far.” O’Mahony admits.
With the two year contract now all signed and delivered, O’Mahony could not be happier to stay focused on his on field performance. Two seasons ago, when the Limerick man signed his last deal, game time was hard to come by, but the Castletroy College alumni never looked to move.
“Munster is where I grew up. I have played all my rugby here. I am really enjoying it so far and especially this season. It was a no-brainer for me really. This is where I want to play my rugby. I am loving it at the moment. I was coming off a development contract when I signed my first full professional contract. I felt if I got a bit of game time I could show my worth with Munster. Obviously, in my time involved here, there has been three or four different head coaches. It has been constantly changing and coaches have different preferences in terms of players they like. I said I would sign that two year and see how it went. Obviously I got a good bit of game-time and leading into this season and signing another two-year, ya I’m delighted.”