London Wasps and Ireland scrum half Eoin Reddan is making a steady return to full fitness after surgery on his groin.
The Limerick man sustained a groin injury towards the end of last season which ruled him out of contention for Ireland's summer tour to New Zealand and Australia.
Currently working his way through a rehab programme, Reddan, who came off the bench against France in February to win his one and only Test cap to date, was frustrated to have missed out on a chance to impress Down Under.
The 25-year-old said: "I was very disappointed not to go on the tour. I haven't exactly been around the Ireland camp for a long time, and I'm by no means part of furniture yet, so I wanted to keep working hard and pushing into that arena.
"I think Ireland are doing great things at the moment. They have a good coaching staff and a hard-nosed, tough bunch of players. It's something I'd like to be part of, so it was disappointing to miss the tour.
"I think just the fact that the team were disappointed to lose the three tour games speaks volumes about where they are at the moment,"
"I really think they are going in the right direction, so I'm just hoping I can play well for Wasps and stay a part of it."
Reddan make a sizeable impression at Wasps last season and was deservedly voted the players' player of the year.
Despite claiming a Powergen Cup winners' medal, Reddan has admitted that the Londoners "went off the boil" for the latter part of the season, and with his recovery under way, he cannot wait to get back and help Shaun Edwards' side challenge for more silverware.
"The rehab's going great, and I can't say enough about the team working with me - Brett (Davidson) and Roger (Knibbs) the physios, and Kate (Rehill) the masseuse. I've made a lot of progress, particularly in the last three weeks, and really upped my workload," he added.
"I'm getting through that work every day and I get stronger every day, so thanks to them I'm getting back on track. It's the first time I've ever been injured really, so it's the first time I've ever had to continuous rehab. It is quite boring but I think mentally, they have coped with me very well and kept my spirits up."
Reddan is certain to face stiff competition from new signings Simon Amor and Mark McMillan for the Wasps' number 9 jersey in the new season, as well as from Peter Stringer and Isaac Boss on the international scene.