Lions captain Paul O'Connell believes Ireland will emerge a stronger side for the World Cup next year after the disappointing end to their RBS 6 Nations campaign.
The 23-20 loss to Scotland in the final game at temporary home Croke Park destroyed Ireland’s Triple Crown dreams last week and meant they finished second in the table, four points behind Grand Slam winners France.
And despite describing it as one of the low points of his rugby career, O’Connell insists the hurt will inspire Declan Kidney’s men to greater things.
“Everyone was hugely disappointed at the outcome of our last game at Croke Park,” said O’Connell, speaking to the IRFU’s official website.
“Unfortunately sport is occasionally like that and you have to be able to deal with those setbacks no matter how painful.
“It is something that will stay with us as players though. No one wanted to end our time there in that fashion.
“You rarely play close to a perfect game as a team in terms of everything going according to plan.
“I managed a few pints that night with the lads but it was a sombre occasion. We’ll bounce back though and we just want to look forward now.”