Peter O’Mahony says Ireland must swiftly forget about the loss of the “exceptional” Caelan Doris and focus on executing a “seamless” back-row reshuffle. The enforced absence of the 22-year-old, who was arguably his country’s standout performer in the Autumn Nations Cup, presents a major dilemma for head coach Andy Farrell ahead of Sunday’s tournament opener away to Wales.
“It’s not tough. You’ve six or seven back-rowers here who are fighting for three spots,” the 31-year-old said of Doris being sidelined. “The big thing about it is, you don’t want to see one of your men go down, and Caelan has been one of the outstanding Irish players in the last probably 18 months, two years.”
“He has been exceptional and he certainly will be a big loss, but there are guys who are hungry and we demand that when someone goes down there’s someone there and it’s as seamless as possible.” he added. “And that’s the way it has to be in international rugby, you can’t be waiting for people. Everyone in the group was gutted to see him go home but, at the same time, there are guys there who are chomping at the bit to get a go, myself included.”