Prop James Cronin, who won his first Ireland cap in the second Test win over Argentina last month, told the Munster Rugby website about his Argentinian experience and the return to pre-season training with Munster.
Having secured a Munster development contract at the start of last season, such was the impressiveness of his form, December saw James Cronin awarded a two-year contract extension that will keep him at the province until at least June 2016.
Closing out the season with 26 appearances for Munster - seven of which were in the Heineken Cup - he did enough to earn inclusion in Ireland's summer tour of Argentina, winning his first cap on June 14 in the 23-17 win over the Pumas.
Reflecting on his debut in the green jersey, Cronin told www.MunsterRugby.ie: "It was a dream come true to get a taste of what international rugby is like. To be the first Ballincollig RFC player to be capped was an honour.
"The messages of support sent home and given to my mother when she met people on the street were very humbling. Hopefully it's just a start and the goal now is to kick on and get more caps.
"Just to be on the tour was a great experience, and the amount I learnt in those two weeks was massive. When you train and play alongside the best players in the country you can only progress and I will be a better player for the experience.
"That said, we have a really good set-up here in Munster and what you cannot do is rest on your laurels.
"While I obviously took some confidence from my Irish experience there are a lot of good young guys coming through the system here, fellas who are driven and champing at the bit so that keeps me focused on what I need to do in Munster first and foremost."
With a new European competition (the Champions Cup) placing greater importance on GUINNESS PRO12 results, and coupled with his own international ambitions, it is shaping up to be an important season for the Ballincollig native.
"People talk about 'second season syndrome' and that's one thing I plan on avoiding. The new European qualification system makes no difference to our preparation because we go out to win every single game we play in and nothing will change this year," explained Cronin.
Finally, how has the 23-year-old front rower found the first week back at training? "To be honest every first week of pre-season is dreaded and filled with a lot of drool too as fellas are pushed hard!
"This week has been very tough and you can never really prepare yourself properly until you have that first week down. Once you're through it you can kick on from there."
The Ireland Women's team played their first ever November Test match at the Twickenham Stoop last Saturday. We take a look back at the journey as Ireland capped nine new players in a rain-swept London.
Ireland Women's head coach Tom Tierney said that despite an 8-3 loss to England in their autumn international, the team put in an 'outstanding' effort and to get nine new caps on the pitch is 'a massive boost'.
Head coach Tom Tierney spoke to Irish Rugby TV about the Ireland Women's historic November international clash with England on Saturday. Ireland have eleven new caps in the squad as they build towards the Six Nations.
Ireland Women's second row Sophie Spence talks to Irish Rugby TV about being nominated for the World Rugby Women's Player of the Year honour. The winner will be announced at the World Rugby Awards at Battersea Evolution in London on Sunday.
There are three enforced changes to the Ireland team to play Argentina, with Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy and Chris Henry all coming in up front. Watch as head coach Joe Schmidt announces the side for the quarter-final and flanker Henry talks about his inclusion.
Previewing Ireland's quarter-final clash with Argentina, hooker Rory Best said: "We've trained well and prepared well. It's a massive game. For us, it's going to need another step up from where we were last week against France. I think that's exciting. As a player, you want to be pushed to the end of your ability and there's no doubt Argentina will do that."
Ireland Women's head coach Tom Tierney, scrum coach Derek Dowling and captain Niamh Briggs talk about their open training session at Kingspan Stadium and preparations for next month's clash with England and the 2016 Women's Six Nations.
'It's a quiet presence that takes up a lot of space' - Joe Schmidt spoke today about the impact of losing Paul O'Connell and his inspirational role in the Ireland squad. The head coach also commented on the incredible contribution of Jared Payne and Peter O'Mahony.
Robbie Henshaw, who starred in the centre against France, talks about Paul O'Connell's influence on him, calling the Limerick man a 'true inspirational leader' and 'a massive loss' to the Ireland squad following his tournament-ending hamstring injury.
Ireland team manager Michael Kearney issues an update on the injuries suffered by Peter O'Mahony, Paul O'Connell and Jonathan Sexton, while full-back Rob Kearney reflects on the 24-9 pool win over France.