Munster's Marcus Horan has set his sights on forcing his way back into Declan Kidney's Ireland squad as he continues his comeback from a career-threatening irregular heartbeat.
The 32-year-old had been troubled for the past four seasons with the condition and at one point was told that he would have to quit playing.
But Horan refused to give up and has forced his way back into the Munster squad, and now has his sights set on an international return after missing out on a place in Kidney’s RBS 6 Nations squad.
The loose-head prop, capped 66 times by Ireland said: “I didn’t have enough opportunities before the Six Nations to put my name in the hat and that was hugely disappointing.
“You see other guys that were out for a while and they got in so that was pretty hard to take. It’s difficult. You’re trying to do as best you can but just the opportunity wasn’t there. I didn’t have much control over it.
“But now I do. There are big shop windows there to play over the next couple of weeks.
“It’s a great goal and a great challenge to have at this stage of your career. When you’re winning things it’s always great but this is a new challenge for me. It’s an experience I haven’t had before.
“There’s a perception out there that I’ve missed a huge amount of rugby but I haven’t. We’re in the business end of the season now and Munster are in contention for things so I’m going to really give it a go.
“Each game that I’ve played, I feel I’m getting stronger and stronger. They are getting more and more serious and more and more competitive.
“So that will benefit me hugely and hopefully with the break that I did have I will be that bit stronger come the latter stages of the season.”