And while Coghlan admits England have stolen a march on them with their three tests against New Zealand this autumn, she still feels Ireland are capable of challenging in the Six Nations next February.
She said: "It is a case of catch-up for us but it's always been like that. The exiles coming are great for the squad and we also have a few good youngsters like Larissa Muldoon and Nikki Caughey who will bring a lot of quality to the squad.
"We'll spend a lot of the autumn doing fitness and strength work and hopefully that will get us ready for the Six Nations.
"We really want to improve on our third place from the last few years but obviously England are very strong, and France can be outstanding on their day, like every French team."
The 30-year-old, who captained Ireland last season, comes into the squad fresh from domestic success after Leinster's first Interprovincial Championship title in six years.
That ended Munster's five-year reign at the top of the tree, and after a 25-5 win over the former champions in the final game, Coghlan revealed it had been a long time coming.
She added: "We were delighted to finally get there. It's been a while coming having not won in six years, especially a couple of years back when we thought we were going to win it only for the snow to intervene.
"I think we had a bit more experience this year which really made the difference as well as some great young players coming through."