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Peter O'Mahony is a natural leader for Lions, says Greg Feek


Peter O'Mahony is one of the contenders to captain the British and Irish Lions in their opening Test

Peter O'Mahony is one of the contenders to captain the British and Irish Lions in their opening Test

Peter O'Mahony is one of the contenders to captain the British and Irish Lions in their opening Test

Peter O'Mahony has all the attributes needed to lead the British and Irish Lions, according to Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek.

O'Mahony has been tipped to captain Warren Gatland's side for the first Test against New Zealand at Eden Park on Saturday.

Sam Warburton and Alun Wyn Jones remain strong contenders, but, after captaining the Lions to an impressive 32-10 victory over the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua, O'Mahony looks the favourite to wear the captain's armband on Saturday.

"Firstly, for Pete, sometimes with these rumours, if there's smoke, there's fire," said Feek on O'Mahony's captaincy bid.

"If it is true then we're all proud of him here. We'll be watching with real interest in terms of how he leads the team. We know what he brings. Hopefully, if he has a few more of the Irish boys around him, we know what they'll bring. Hopefully there's a few more in there.

"We all know how passionate he is about the game and the way he goes about things. He's a leader that leads from the front. He says 'follow me' and doesn't shirk the hard yards."

O'Mahony's elevation to the Lions captaincy would cap a stunning resurgence from the Munster flanker this season.

After an injury-plagued campaign, O'Mahony earned a seat on the plane to New Zealand with an eye-catching display in Ireland's 13-9 victory over England in the Six Nations, a result which ended an 18-match winning streak for Eddie Jones' side.

The performance was all the more remarkable given that O'Mahony only started the game because Jamie Heaslip withdrew from the starting line-up with an injury just minutes before kick-off.

" When it becomes a bit more set-piece (orientated) and physical exchanges, he excels in that," added Feek.

"He brings certain things outside of the field and in the changing room. He's the sort of guy that doesn't say too much, but says things that prickle the hairs on the back of your neck, but he's a good man off it too."

O'Mahony is set to be joined in the Lions pack by Ireland team-mates Tadhg Furlong and Sean O'Brien, with Jack McGrath and Iain Henderson strong contenders to provide back-up on the bench.

'We all know what they can bring," added Feek.

"If they are being selfless, what they have done for us in the Six Nations is a reasonable portion (of why they are being picked), but I think being in that environment, what they are doing, and how they are perceived by the coaches - walking the talk is probably what got them there.

"Some of them can turn the switch and put the work in. All the credit has to go to them now, and the support they are getting from family because it is so big. I take my hat off to whoever is involved. I'm proud of them."

Meanwhile, the Ireland management has provided an injury update on the squad ahead of the second Test with Japan in Tokyo on Saturday.

The entire squad trained on Tuesday with Luke McGrath, Finlay Bealham and Dan Leavy all expected to be passed fit and available for selection later in the week.