Lions Test captain Peter O’Mahony will have a “sense of perspective” after two tough seasons, says former Lions skipper Paul O’Connell.
Ireland’s O’Mahony, 27, will in the first Test against New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday.
The flanker, who missed a year after the 2015 World Cup through injury, had to lead his Munster side following of head coach Anthony Foley.
“It was a really hard year but he’ll have learned a lot,” O’Connell said.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, the former Ireland and Munster lock added: “For some the Lions tour is the be-all and end-all but his experiences over the past few years have let him realise that nothing is.
“He’s had a lot of experience with ups and downs.”
O’Mahony was a fringe player for Ireland in this year’s Six Nations after losing his place following a long-term knee injury.
His solitary start came when he was recalled for their final match against England, but only after Jamie Heaslip pulled out through injury minutes before kick-off.
O’Mahony was handed the start, picking up player of the match and earning himself a spot on the plane to New Zealand.
But the back rower’s domestic season with Munster finished in disappointing fashion as his side were beaten by Saracens in the Champions Cup semi-final before losing out to Scarlets in the Pro12 Grand Final.
O’Connell says these experiences have helped O’Mahony and he will be ready to lead by example on Saturday.
“He’s a Martin Johnson-type player,” said his former Ireland and Munster team-mate. “He doesn’t say a lot but when he speaks it carries weight, it won’t be too complicated.
“He was probably a bit lucky that Sam Warburton is struggling with injury but the big thing you have to do as a skipper is play well yourself and lead by example. That’s what he’ll do.”