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RBS 6 Nations: Peter O'Mahony on target to be fit for Ireland's Italy clash

By Niall Crozier

Blindside Peter O'Mahony did not train yesterday at Newforge with his Ireland team-mates.

The hamstring injury he picked up early on in Saturday's defeat by England requires rest, though the Munster captain was keen to play down any suggestion that he might not be ready to face Italy in Ireland's penultimate match of the 2014 Six Nations on March 8.

"It's not too bad," he said. "Obviously it has stopped me from training for the last 48 hours but you need to give these things a bit of rest and respect them. Hopefully I'll be back training early next week and put myself back into contention for selection."

When asked if it was a worry at this stage, O'Mahony replied: "I don't think so, no. But, still, I'm not training today. Joe Schmidt always says you have to train pretty much all of the test week to be selected, so we'll see where we are at the weekend.

"The signs are good, but I just have to rest it and then see if I can start training early next week."

Explaining how it happened, he said: "I was in a couple of poach positions and my leg straightened out a little bit and I just felt it twinge a little bit. It happened twice in the same leg. The first one happened about five or six minutes in. And the second one was about 50 minutes in.

"It pinched, definitely, the first time. You can use the adrenalin to run it off but when it cooled down in the second half I got it again at 50. It tightened up then around 65, 70."

Having had hamstring problems in the past and knowing his body's recovery record, he appeared confident when asked if he expected to overcome the injury quickly.

"Yeah, you would expect it to," O'Mahony said. "I'm lucky that my hamstrings have been very healthy over the last couple of years. So, touch wood, hopefully this will only take a couple of days for me to get over it."

He smiled when informed of coach Schmidt's post-match assessment on Saturday when he joked that the Munster number six had no respect for his own body.

"When you're playing against England in Twickenham you don't really have the time to think about these things. Unless it's fully stopping you from running you just have to get on with it I think.

"It wasn't bothering me enough to take me off or anything. Even if you have a little bit of a limp you can still tear on."

Having been through the review of that England game, his conclusion was: "There's no need to panic. We didn't become a bad team overnight. We're playing good rugby and putting ourselves in good positions to put some more points on the board. The sooner we realise that then the sooner we'll start taking them."

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