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Lock O'Mahony return strengthens Ireland

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/09/2016 By Nick Purewal

Peter O'Mahony has handed Ireland a big boost by finally recovering from his year-long knee ligament injury.

The 27-year-old flanker will take a seat on Munster's bench for Saturday's PRO12 clash with Zebre at Thomond Park.

O'Mahony tore knee ligaments in Ireland's 24-9 Rugby World Cup pool victory over France on October 11 last year, and has since endured a torrid, truncated recovery.

The uncompromising back-rower now has the chance to end all those frustrations however, and in the process expand head coach Joe Schmidt's options for the four-match November Test schedule.

Simon Zebo has overcome a rib injury to start at full-back too for Munster this weekend, in further positive news for Ireland.

New Zealander Schmidt will prepare Ireland to face the All Blacks twice in three weeks across a hugely testing November series, so will doubtless need as many frontline stars available as possible.

O'Mahony himself cannot wait to get back into full swing with his province.

Ireland open their autumn run by taking on New Zealand in Chicago on November 5, with O'Mahony's return potentially proving very timely.

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