Paul O'Connell started four of Ireland's five games in their triumphant 2014 RBS 6 Nations campaign
Paul O'Connell admits he is champing at the bit to play his part in Ireland's summer tour to Argentina.
The 34-year-old started four matches as Ireland were crowned 2014 RBS 6 Nations champions, only missing the Scotland clash through illness.
He still has a title charge to focus on with Munster, but O'Connell can't help but let his mind wander to Ireland's summer adventure to South America to take on Los Pumas.
And he believes a good tour to Argentina coupled with a solid pre-season will see him firing on all cylinders in time for next year's World Cup.
"I certainly want to go and play [in Argentina]," O'Connell told the Irish Times. "I've been really well managed and I think you just get better and better when you're playing.
"If I can just have a good pre-season I think I'll be in a really good place this year. So I'm eager to go.
"I chatted to Jason Cowman [IRFU strength and conditioning coach] only last week about it and he was saying he has a theory that the more pre-seasons you can accumulate back to back, the more conditioned you will be.
"There's times this season where I have felt really sluggish and I can feel the fact I haven't had that pre-season work in me but putting in a season of 25, 26 matches.
"If I can put that together with a good pre-season it will put me in a really good position for next year."
Andy Farrell believes the introduction of bonus points to the RBS 6 Nations will suit Ireland's attacking style of play while boosting The British & Irish Lions chances of success against the All Blacks in June.
Seven uncapped players in Rob Howley's RBS 6 Nations squad marks a major shift in Wales' makeup and with Alun Wyn Jones taking on the captaincy, Sam Warburton likely to contend for a spot on the blindside and new contenders for backline spots, we assess the principal shifts.