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Toner Thrilled With Call-Up

Toner Thrilled With Call-Up

As Ireland prepare to take on the USA this Sunday in their second and final game of the summer tour (kick-off 1pm local time/9pm Irish time), Leinster lock Devin Toner reflects on his call-up to the touring party.

Fresh from celebrating Leinster’s Heineken Cup success, giant lock Devin Toner was looking forward to getting back into training this week to prepare for the Churchill Cup.

But on Tuesday he got a call from the Ireland camp on tour in America to fly out and join Declan Kidney’s squad.

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“Yeah, I’m absolutely delighted. I got the call on Tuesday just after celebrating the Heineken Cup win with Leinster so after a brilliant weekend, I really wasn’t expecting it at all and it was a real bonus to get called up,” said the talented Meath man.

Toner, 22, was called up as precautionary cover but was due to fly out shortly anyway for the Ireland ‘A’ squad’s tilt at the Churchill Cup in Colorado.

With Mick O’Driscoll and Bob Casey starting and Ulster tyro Ryan Caldwell on the bench for Sunday’s showdown with the USA, Toner is relishing the chance of working with the squad again.

“We came straight back to Dublin after the Leicester game and the airport in Edinburgh was packed as there was so much support for us over there and it was a great feeling, but as I said, it was a real bonus for me when I go the shout to join up with the Ireland senior squad.”

Toner has been involved in the Ireland squad already this season, taking part in a number of training sessions during the RBS 6 Nations Championship as head coach Kidney brings in more young players to give them experience of working within the national set-up.

“It’s not totally foreign to me as I was involved in some of the squad training sessions during the Six nations and know all the coaches, so it’s a familiar enough set-up and hopefully I can learn from my time here,” he added. 

“After this week I’m also looking forward to the Churchill Cup and working with the coaches again.

“I was involved in one two years ago, but I never got capped so I’m really looking forward to maybe getting capped this time around and getting some games under my belt and playing against some international class teams.”