Rory Best says Ireland’s Six Nations failure provided a “reality check” ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
Ireland were unable to repeat their 2018 Grand Slam heroics, finishing third after losing to both England and a Wales side that pulled off a clean sweep to secure the title in March.
Captain Best says Ireland will be ready to put that disappointment behind them at the showpiece in Japan.
Best, who will retire after a tournament which will also bring an end to head coach Joe Schmidt’s reign, said: “When Joe first came in the big question was ‘how do we perceive ourselves?’. The big answer was ‘inconsistent’.
“And what we’ve worked hard to do is to prepare the same whoever we play and whatever we do.
“That’s how it’s always been under Joe and we certainly won’t go away from that now. It sometimes takes a reality check and finishing third was bitterly disappointing.
“So coming in at the start of this pre-season everyone is as hungry as I have ever seen them.
“We’ve had a group of players that want to prove that the 2019 Six Nations was the blip, not 2018.”
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