Six Nations

O'Mahony determined to avoid another Italian spine-chiller

2019-02-23 18:04
Joe Schmidt (Gallo)

Rome - Peter O'Mahony recalled Ireland's last defeat to Italy six years ago in the Stadio Olimpico and warned on Saturday it is one he does not want to experience again.

O'Mahony, who captains Ireland on Sunday for the first time in a Six Nations game, was in Declan Kidney's team that lost 22-15 in Rome in March 2013.

"I got a shiver down my spine. You just don't like losing, it doesn't matter whether it's in Rome or at home," said the 29-year-old flanker.

"There are big days out there when you win things, but it's funny, the days you lose are the days that stand out at times.

"It shouldn't be the way, but that's how it is. We'll be looking for a big performance tomorrow."

O'Mahony takes over as captain after Rory Best was rested and the Munster flanker said the team were more focused on execution and not the extra point for scoring four or more tries.

"A bonus-point win is not something that I think anyone on the team can afford to think about for any game in the Six Nations.

"It's an incredibly competitive competition," said the O'Mahony who will win his 56th Test cap as he leads out Ireland for the seventh time.

"Tomorrow, it's going to start from the first minute and it's going to be about going to the very last one. So it's all about preparing for that."

Ireland -- the 2018 Grand Slam winners -- are fourth having beaten Scotland (22-13) in their last match after losing their opener to England (32-20).

Their championship hopes could be all but over if England beat Wales on Saturday.

However O'Mahony said that result would not have an impact on their approach, and he would be watching the game.

"I will, 100%. Obviously, guys love watching rugby. It would be strange if you didn't have an interest in it."

O'Mahony, led the British and Irish Lions in their first Test against New Zealand in 2017, and said it was an honour to lead his country.

"It's hugely special, an incredible honour, to captain Ireland," said the Cork native.

"I've been lucky enough to captain the team a couple of times before when the other lads were out, but to get a chance to captain the team in the Six Nations, it's an incredible competition, one of the best in the world.

"It doesn't change my week or what I do to be honest. It's nice to be asked."

Read more on:    ireland  |  italy  |  six nations  |  rugby


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