Ireland scrum-half Eoin Reddan revealed he is slowly making his way back to full fitness after surgery on his groin.
The London Wasps half-back sustained the injury towards the end of last season which ruled him out of contention for Ireland's summer tour to New Zealand and Australia.
Currently working his way through a rehab programme, Reddan, who came off the bench against France in February to win his one and only Test cap to date, was frustrated to have missed out on a chance to impress Down Under.
The 25-year-old told the IRFU's official website: ''I was very disappointed not to go on the tour. I haven't exactly been around the Ireland camp for a long time, and I'm by no means part of the furniture yet, so I wanted to keep working hard and pushing into that arena.
''I think Ireland are doing great things at the moment. They have a good coaching staff and a hard-nosed, tough bunch of players. It's something I'd like to be part of, so it was disappointing to miss the tour.
''I think just the fact that the team were disappointed to lose the three tour games speaks volumes about where they are at the moment.
''I really think they are going in the right direction, so I'm just hoping I can play well for Wasps and stay a part of it.''
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.