Leamy backs Munster's O'Mahony to be next Ireland captain

Leamy backs Munster's O'Mahony to be next Ireland captain

Former Ireland and Munster back-row Denis Leamy has endorsed his provincial colleague Peter O'Mahony to become the next permanent Ireland captain following Johnny Sexton's departure. 

Sexton had captained Ireland for several years, but the captaincy is now up for grabs. 

Several candidates have been suggested for the role, including Leinster's Gary Ringrose and James Ryan, as well as Ulster's Iain Henderson, all selected by Ireland's head coach Andy Farrell in Sexton's absence. 

Peter O'Mahony is also in contention due to his experience at both the test and club levels. The 32-year-old has led Munster since 2013 and served as the Test captain for the British and Irish Lions in 2017 against New Zealand. His leadership of the Irish team on many occasions adds to his credentials. 

Peter O'Mahony has been backed to be Ireland captain (Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images).jpeg

While O'Mahony has not confirmed his retirement from the sport, unlike Keith Earls and Sexton, business is expected to continue as usual, at least for now. 

Denis Leamy, the current Munster defence coach and a former Ireland international with 57 Test caps from 2004 to 2011, has expressed his support for O'Mahony to take on the full-time captaincy if he chooses to continue playing international rugby for Ireland into 2024. 

Leamy said, "He's universally respected among the Irish players. I know that for a fact, having worked with the Leinster players and witnessing the esteem in which they hold him, which is a great thing to see firsthand.

"I'm sure that sentiment is echoed throughout the provinces, including Connacht and Ulster. He has achieved so much in the game, bringing that edge and standard setting that's crucial as a captain. If Ireland were to go down that road, considering he's been a Lions Test captain, there's a significant pedigree there. It's a great option for Ireland, for Andy [Farrell], and he'll make that decision in due course." 

Munster and Leinster are set to clash next week in the United Rugby Championship, with the game scheduled to kick off at 18:30.