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Kidney sees upside to O'Mahony inclusion

Declan Kidney insists Ireland may benefit from Peter O'Mahony's unexpected participation in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland.

O'Mahony was promoted to the starting XV after openside Sean O'Brien was ruled out of the showdown at the Aviva Stadium with a foot infection. The 22-year-old O'Mahony is far less experienced - Saturday will be his third cap and first start - but Kidney believes that may hinder Scotland.

"The benefit of the change is that Scotland won't have been able to analyse him as much as if he'd several caps under his belt," Ireland's head coach said.

"You can look at this as a disruption to us, but maybe it's a disruption to Scotland.

"Perhaps they'll have been anticipating a different type of challenge. They may have to adjust to us now."

O'Mahony is a more natural openside than O'Brien, who moved across the back row during the World Cup, but the loss of the reigning European player of the year will be acutely felt.

"Peter has his own personal nuances and if he brings those into the game, it will be helpful to us," Kidney said.

"He's a young man and will be looking forward to the game. He's dealt well with everything that's been thrown at him to date. I'm sure he'll be churning a bit under the water, but if you're not churning you shouldn't be here.

"It's unfortunate to have someone of Sean's calibre out of the side, but you take your opportunity in life in whatever way you get it.

"I'm sure Peter's looking forward to putting down a marker. Sean had bit of a setback in the week but the medical advice is that he'll be able to train from Tuesday next week."


From Belfast Telegraph