Six Nations: O'Mahony says memories of Rome 2013 defeat still fresh for Ireland

Peter O'Mahony is captained by Tommaso Benvenuti during the 2013 game in Rome
Peter O'Mahony was only one year into his international career when Italy shocked Ireland in Rome in 2013
Six Nations: Italy v Ireland
Venue: Stadio Olimpico Date: Sunday, 24 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Commentary on 5 live Sports Extra and Radio Ulster; live text on BBC Sport website and Sport app

Peter O'Mahony says the memory of Ireland's 2013 defeat in Rome will ensure the team does not underestimate Italy in the Eternal City on Sunday.

That defeat for the injury-ravaged Irish proved Declan Kidney's final match in charge as flanker O'Mahony ended the game on the wing.

"I remember doing media after that game, I get a shiver down my spine," said the Munster and Lions flanker.

With Rory Best rested, O'Mahony is skippering Joe Schmidt's side in Rome.

O'Mahony will win his 55th Ireland cap this weekend and will be captaining his country for the seventh time.

The 29-year-old also led the British and Irish Lions in their first Test against New Zealand in 2017.

"It's hugely special, an incredible honour, to captain Ireland," added O'Mahony at Saturday's pre-match news conference.

"It's not about personal milestones, but it's certainly special for me to be asked to lead the lads out tomorrow."

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Ireland need to be wary of Italy power - Schmidt

O'Mahony ready for Rome ref interaction

O'Mahony says he has been blessed during his time with Ireland to have played under a series of inspirational captains.

"Obviously Rory's been left at home, then even very recently there's been Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll. I could name a list of guys I looked up to for a long time.

"We've built a huge leadership group now, so we depend on lots of guys not just one guy, and we're relying on lots of guys to lead."

O'Mahony is mindful that his role this weekend could include the need for the occasional well chosen word with referee, New Zealander Glen Jackson.

"We're lucky with the standard of refereeing that we have these days that a lot of guys will let it flow and there isn't a huge amount of interaction needed a lot of the time.

"But when things need to be said or points need to be made, you need to have a good relationship with guys and that's something I feel I have built up over the last few years."

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