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O'Mahony hails O'Driscoll

28th February 2014 15:05

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Determined: Peter O'Mahony

Ireland back-row Peter O'Mahony is adamant Brian O'Driscoll's looming retirement will not affect the team's Six Nations chances.

Ireland won their two opening games of the tournament convincingly, downing Scotland and Wales in Dublin, but fell to a narrow defeat at Twickenham 13-10 on Saturday.

Talisman O'Driscoll will play his last home game in an Irish shirt next weekend, as Joe Schmidt's men take on Italy at the Aviva Stadium, breaking George Gregan's record for the most international caps (139).

"We are professional enough that it won't affect us," said O'Mahony.

"It is obviously a big occasion for him and it would be great for him to finish his last Test in Ireland on a winning side but the rest of us now need to be a bit selfish - and him too.

"There is a job to be done at the weekend and he is more professional than anyone who has put on an Irish jersey, so I don't think there is an issue there.

"He was the first superstar of Irish rugby and always very exciting to watch.

"You wouldn't even have to go looking for him. You would see him on the TV screen so often, because he was carrying so much ball, breaking lines.

"He was probably a bit raw at the time. Video analysis wasn't the same and defences weren't the same so he was making big, long breaks and it was very impressive to watch.

"Not much has changed, really. Last weekend he was running over guys. He used to run around them, now he goes over the top of them."

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