Donncha O'Callaghan has won 94 Ireland caps but has not featured since the 2013 RBS 6 Nations
Donncha O'Callaghan has set his sights on a place in Ireland's World Cup squad and hopes a good season at Munster will see him force his way into Joe Schmidt's plans.
The 35-year-old has been overlooked since Schmidt replaced Declan Kidney as head coach in April 2013, with his last appearance coming against France in the final game of the 2013 RBS 6 Nations.
But the lock insists his hunger to add to his 94 Test caps has not diminished.
"[It] will be tough but it's a World Cup year," O'Callaghan told the Irish Examiner.
"I wouldn't lie to myself, you have to be playing to a certain high standard to be in the shake and I haven't probably been at that for the last year. There wasn't as much game time as you'd like with the level of competition but I'm still hungry for it.
"I would view it as cap one, that's all I want, to play for Ireland. But I know playing for Ireland is as a result of going well with Munster and if we're successful here, it falls out the back. It's preparing well, training well, looking after yourself, doing the right things."
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.