The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Since then Heaslip has played in all but one of Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations matches – the 2011 opener against Italy with an ankle injury – and established himself as one of the world’s best No.8s.
However the 27-year-old says competition for places, particularly in the back row, is so fierce that not even Ireland’s most established players can afford to rest on their laurels.
He said: “There’s a lot of quality out there. I know from the last time around in the World Cup, I considered myself a good player back then and worthy of a spot but didn’t make it and I was gutted.
"I would be gutted this year because I really want to go to the World Cup and I am doing everything I can to make sure I put my hand up for selection.
“I feel lots of pressure. One of the main goals Declan set out when he first joined us was to have a squad of 44 players that he could pick from and no matter who was in the 22 you would have not to worry about them.
“He has been pretty successful in that and the knock-on from that is that it is pushing everyone’s standard up because we have such quality players in every position.
“In the back row there’s lots of quality and he is going to have make some big calls so I am just happy I am not the coach. I am going to try and put myself in the best position to be picked.”