Peter O'Mahony: I’ll decide whether to stay in Munster or leave by the New Year

Munster captain Peter O'Mahony said he hopes his future is decided “one way or another” by the end of the year, writes Simon Lewis.

The Ireland flanker, who captained the British & Irish Lions in June's first Test against the All Blacks, is out of contract at the end of this season and has been linked with a move away from his native province.

The 28-year-old Corkman has had offers to join clubs in both the French Top14 and English Premiership but is also hoping to receive an improved offer from his current employers, the IRFU.

Speaking publicly for the first time since he was linked with a possible exit from Munster, O'Mahony said: “It's well documented at this time of year you get offers from clubs in France and England.

“I'm going to leave my agents sort all that side of it. It's very important for me to concentrate on such two big tests with Leicester this weekend and next weekend. I hope to have it wrapped up one way or another regardless by the New Year.”

O'Mahony added that though his allegiances lied firmly with Munster, he had other considerations to make other than loyalty to the province.

“Absolutely I am (a Munster man). It's professional sport. It's a short career. Hopefully it will be done by the New Year regardless.

“I can't sit here as Munster captain and discuss that with you here. It's for my agents to deal with so we'll leave it at that.”

O'Mahony, along with fellow internationals CJ Stander, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne and Andrew Conway are back in contention for this Saturday's visit of Champions Cup pool rivals Leicester Tigers to Thomond Park, the first of two pivotal meetings with the English club. There was also good news regardig the fitness of full-back Simon Zebo, who took part in full training on today afternoon at the University of Limerick despite being withdrawn with a rib injury at half-time in last Saturday's PRO14 win over Ospreys.

Also returning to training were back rowers Jack O'Donoghue, who took a bang to his shoulder last Saturday and Tommy O'Donnell following an AC joint injury sustained in Ireland camp last month. Head coach Johann Van Graan said fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal (neck) would not be involved while loosehead prop Liam O'Connor is set for a long spell out of action with a serious knee injury suffered against Ospreys.

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