Loughney looking to build on bow
Connacht prop Ronan Loughney is relishing another taste of Test rugby as Ireland prepare to face New Zealand on Saturday.
The 28-year-old made his international debut in Auckland in what was a chastening experience for the Irish as the All Blacks romped to a 42-10 victory.
Despite the heavy first Test defeat, there was still a sense immense personal pride Loughney.
And with fellow front-rowers Cian Healy (shoulder) and Mike Ross (hamstring) taking no part in training on Tuesday, Loughney is likely to see more game time when the sides meet again in Christchurch on Saturday.
And Loughney is looking forward to it.
"My debut was an amazing experience," he said. "It was a lifelong dream to put on the green shirt. Obviously, it was great opposition to do it against. They have been the best team in the world, on and off, for years now.
"It was a difficult result but it is good to get a taste of what that level is like. It is another step up again and I'm hoping to get another opportunity."
Loughney is particularly keen to mix it with All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.
"To be at his level, that is what you aspire to," he added.
"It was a great experience to be playing against him."
Leinster flanker Sean O'Brien, meanwhile, had some positive injury news for Ireland coach Declan Kidney.
The 25-year-old sat out training as he is on a reduced schedule following knee surgery last month, but is happy with his condition.
He said: "The body is not too bad, I'm just getting my recovery done."