Rugby

'He Rang Me On The Sunday Night, I Saw His Name Come Up And I Couldn't Believe It'

'He Rang Me On The Sunday Night, I Saw His Name Come Up And I Couldn't Believe It'

Devin Toner says that he hopes to play for Ireland come next year's Six Nations. The tournament will see new head coach Andy Farrell take charge for the first time.

"I'm putting my hand up for selection, I don't think I'm done with Ireland," Toner told The Rugby Pod.

"It's going to be a new test with Andy coming in as head coach. Lads are going to want to get over the World Cup and fans and supporters are as well.

"I think we're going to have one camp over Christmas, for day or two; it'll be interesting to see who's picked."

Toner added that he has not spoken with Joe Schmidt since the phone call where the Leinster second row was told that he would not be going to the World Cup.

Schmidt selected the recently Irish-qualified Jean Kleyn ahead of Toner. Kleyn became eligible to play for Ireland just days before the team's first World Cup warm-up game against Italy in early August.

It came down to the Sunday night where he was ringing everyone saying who wasn't going. It was a complete shock. He rang me on the Sunday night, I saw his name come up and I couldn't believe it.

He basically said that they needed a tighthead lock. He said that I wasn't a specialist tighthead lock and that I didn't show much in the pre-season games. He said I was coming off the back of an injury and the fitness and the games weren't up to scratch.

Everyone was absolutely brilliant about it. One of the mains things for me was being able to stay at home and not be away for seven or eight weeks. I got to stay at home with Mary (his wife) and Max (his son).

Obviously, it's hard seeing everything over there [in Japan], seeing all the lads on social media.

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Earlier this month, Ireland's World Cup captain Rory Best cited "too much detail" from coaches as a contributing factor in the team's disappointing performance in Japan.

"The detail Joe brought to the game has worked for Ireland and Leinster," said Toner.

"It has worked for my game because I'm quite detail orientated with lineout calls and knowing where to be, knowing where I don't need to be.

"There's a balance that needs to be there between the detail and playing off the cuff, which wasn't there as much as it can.

"I wasn't in the World Cup camp so I can't comment too much about what they were doing over there. When I was in camps before, we did a lot of detail."

Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

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