Peter O’Mahony, the valiant captain of Munster, reflects on the World Cup campaign and envisions a brighter future for Irish rugby.
Despite the setback in the tournament, O’Mahony, who marked his 100th cap in the recent clash against Scotland, exudes optimism for the emerging talent.
However, a veil of uncertainty shrouds his own Test future, leaving questions unanswered about his continued journey at the international level.
“There’s a great group of young players there,” said the inspirational 34-year-old.
“Lots of players who aren’t here but who were in our squad can step up to the plate as well. I’ve no doubt this team will have left Irish rugby in a better place.
“We’ve achieved a huge amount – there’s no other way of putting it. There’s disappointment, obviously, but I think we can be proud of where we’ve left the jersey.
“It’s about honouring the jersey and I think this group have left it in a good place.
“Will I come back? We’ll see. It’s tough one to take, as a lot of my friends won’t be back so I’ve a contract to the end of the year and we’ll see how we go after that.”
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“Goodbye” – Five players who won’t play international rugby again after World Cup elimination
In the following section, we will highlight five players who are expected to either retire from international rugby altogether or not feature for their national teams in the future.
#1. Johnny Sexton
Sexton will now retire as Ireland’s record points scorer but he could not lead his side to a first last-four tie.
“You’ve got to work hard for fairytale endings and we didn’t get it but that’s life,” said an emotional Sexton.
The fly-half is now set to leave rugby behind for a brand new career.
Sexton said: “coaching would inevitably alter the dynamic between me and my fellow players. So, coaching is not in my foreseeable future.”
“Rugby has been my lifelong passion, a part of me for two decades or even longer, going back to my childhood. Yet, I believe it’s essential to step away from it and explore new avenues in life. Only time will reveal what the future holds.”
“I’ll go and see if I can do something in the business world, I’ve been doing a bit of work experience there over the last few years, one day a week, so I’ll go into that and see how it goes.
“It might not be for me. I might get the itch straight away and come out of retirement, play for St Marys!”
The previous year saw a significant rise in accumulated profits at the management company owned by Johnny Sexton, the renowned rugby captain of Ireland.
The profits surged by nearly £307,000, reaching an impressive total of almost £2.5m.