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Published: 12:54 | 8/8/16

O’Mahony retains Munster captaincy


Munster have appointed Ireland flanker Peter O'Mahony as their captain for the 2016-17 season.

O'Mahony did not feature for Munster last season after suffering a knee injury in the World Cup pool clash against France in October 2015, with CJ Stander deputising as skipper.

But the 26-year-old back row will take back the captain's armband from Player of the Year Stander when he returns to action in September.

The Corkman, who has scored 10 tries in his 72 appearances for Munster, first succeeded Doug Howlett as captain at the start of the 2013/14 season.

"In getting to know this group of players over the last number of weeks Peter has stood out as a natural leader on and off the field," director of rugby Rassie Erasmus told the province's official website.

"From a captaincy point of view I quickly realised there was no need to make any change in that regard

"Although currently rehabbing, Peter still plays a massive role within the squad and is hugely respected by his peers. We all look forward to seeing him back on the pitch in the coming weeks."

Munster head coach Anthony Foley believes last season's Champions Cup defeats to Clermont and Leicester at Thomond Park defined a disappointing campaign, and has set his players a target of going through the upcoming season unbeaten at home.

"If you do that, there is a lot of things that can happen then. You can kick off away from home then," he said.

"If we can get our basics right, look after our home venues, I think then you can look at where you can go from there. We are losing far too many games at home.

"One thing that I thought about when I sat down was our results in Thomond Park in the last couple of years. I know we lost to Ospreys in Cork, but the big losses were Clermont and Leicester in Europe.

"Losing those two games ultimately cost us getting out of our group. The losses to Leinster and Connacht back-to-back before Christmas, we still had opportunities later on in the season to get into the top four, those losses in Thomond Park are the things I think we can eradicate.

"From a coaching and playing point of view, we can set up differently to make sure that we don’t lose those games at home but also, I suppose there needs to be an emphasis and a focus on getting people back into Thomond Park.

"We need to fill it and make it as an intimidating venue as it can be and making sure that those 50-50, 60-40 decisions go our way."

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