Munster defence coach Denis Leamy has backed loose forward Peter O’Mahony to succeed Ireland captain Johnny Sexton.
Sexton’s illustrious career came to a close after Ireland’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to New Zealand last month, and Andy Farrell will now be mulling over who should skipper his side going forward.
Peter O’Mahony backed to skipper Ireland
“Peter is respected universally among the Irish players. I know that for a fact, having worked with the Leinster players and the esteem they hold him in, which is a great thing to see first-hand,” said Leamy, who played 57 Tests for Ireland from 2004 and 2011
“I’m sure right throughout the provinces, in Connacht and Ulster, that would be the same.
“I suppose he’s achieved so much in the game; he brings that edge and standard-setting that’s so important as a captain.”
The 34-year-old captained Munster to the United Rugby Championship title earlier this year; he also skippered the British and Irish Lions against New Zealand in 2017.
“If Ireland were to go down that road, he has obviously been a Lions Test captain as well – there’s a huge amount of pedigree there,” added Leamy.
“It’s a great option for Ireland, for Andy [Farrell], and he’ll make that decision in due course.”
Ireland’s 2024 season
Leinster lock James Ryan will also be among the candidates to fill Sexton’s captaincy role, having captained Ireland recently when Sexton was unavailable or rested. He has also been named as Leinster’s co-captain for the season along with centre Garry Ringrose.
Following a disappointing exit from the Rugby World Cup, Ireland’s focus now turns to the Six Nations with a tour to South Africa to face the double world champions, the Springboks, in July 2024.
Ireland head into the new year ranked second in the world after losing their top seed after falling to the All Blacks at the World Cup.