Kidney has named a 39-man squad, including centre Gordon D'Arcy, for the Six Nations - and the players will convene on Monday for their first week of training.
Kidney said: "Our games in November were mission accomplished from a ranking point of view, because it meant we were among the second seeds for the World Cup draw.
"The win against Argentina, although not the prettiest game anybody may have seen, was vitally important.
"The France game (on February 7) is another step above that, because they can bring so much to their game and are incredibly dangerous in this tournament.
"The players' focus for the first week of training will be to set the foundations for the tournament.
"After that, the only focus we will have will be on our opening game against France."
D'Arcy features in an Ireland squad for the first time since breaking his arm in last season's Six Nations.
Further midfield cover is provided by uncapped Ulster centre Darren Cave, who has impressed on provincial duty this season.