Gatland Is Hoping For A Big Performance From A Certain Irishman On Saturday
Warren Gatland hopes Peter O’Mahony will bring a bit of ‘Munster mongrel’ against the Crusaders on Saturday.
The Munster captain has been named in the starting line-up for the first time after making his Lions debut against the Blues on Wednesday. O’Mahony lines up alongside fellow Irishman Sean O’Brien and Welshman Toby Faletau in an exciting back-row.
Gatland reckons there’s a good balance is hoping for something special from O’Mahony.
“The mix of the back row looks quite exciting at the moment,” Gatland said at this morning’s press conference.
“We talked about the balance and the lineout option and we know how good Peter O’Mahony is at lineout time. I hope he brings a bit of that Munster mongrel on Saturday night.”
O’Mahony was asked what Gatland means by ‘Munster mongrel’ shortly after, to which he replied:
“To be successful over here we’re going to have to get stuck in and we’re going to have to be physical,” O’Mahony said.
“I’m hoping that’s what he meant because as a back-row, I suppose, as a pack, it’s a thing you don’t need talent for.
“You can put your head down and just work hard and I think that’s going to be a very important part if we’re going to be successful, a huge part.”
The Cork native says the players are privileged to be where they are, and it’s about going that extra 5% this weekend if they are to be successful.
“This is the pinnacle of rugby and across the park it’s going to take that a level above international rugby,” he said.
“The players that have been picked are world-class and it’s a question of if we can go the extra 5% to go beyond that level.
“It’s massively difficult and it’s a huge challenge but sitting here it brings a lot of excitement out as well, it’s exactly what you want to do at international level. We’re the privileged group here doing it.”
”It’s a huge honour and an incredible feeling and that comes with a responsibility and a pressure but it’s an incredible feeling.
“All you want to do is play well for the group of guys around you and everything that the Lions stands for and that’s something I’m really looking forward to at the weekend.
“Yesterday was incredibly special getting my first cap and getting a starting opportunity now is a dream come true and I’m just hoping I’m up to scratch and be able to get stuck in.”