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."
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt praised the squad's 'immense character' following the 27-24 GUINNESS Series success against Australia. Meanwhile, captain Rory Best reflects on 'an emotional day' as he made his 100th appearance for his country.
Irish Rugby TV brings you a behind the scenes look at Ireland's final GUINNESS Series game against Australia. Joe Schmidt's men marked captain Rory Best's 100th cap with a superb 27-24 victory over the Wallabies.
Saturday's GUINNESS Series clash with Australia marks Michael Kearney's last game as Ireland team manager. We spoke to him about five memorable years in the role. Watch out for a couple of special cameos!
Dick Spring, Chairman of Ireland's RWC 2023 Bid Oversight Board, and Bid Ambassador Brian O'Driscoll speak about their excitement at officially launching Ireland's bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023. #Ireland2023
We're ready to create something legendary. A showcase for rugby nations old and new. A tournament that will grow the game globally, promote the values, spirit and ethos of rugby and will capture the world's imagination. #Ireland2023 - Liam Neeson gives voice to Ireland's bid to host Rugby World Cup 2023.
Tickets are now on sale for the first ever Women's November International Series to be held in the UCD Bowl. Kids go free with any adult tickets. Ireland will face world champions England, top ranked Canada and the Black Ferns of New Zealand.
Tournament Director Garrett Tubridy sets the scene for an exciting weekend of rugby at UCD where 16 Women's Sevens teams will battle it out at for one qualifying spot for the Rio Olympics. Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie/sevens.
Tadhg Furlong reflects on a disappointing day for Ireland against South Africa. However, he will take positives from his first Test start and be ready to build for the final match of the series in Port Elizabeth.
Paddy Jackson is preparing for Ireland's second Test against South Africa on Saturday (kick-off 5pm local time/4pm Irish time). The Ulster out-half has been checking out Ellis Park in advance of the match.