Devin Toner on Ireland team-mate: 'He'll be a phenomenal player in the far future'
You won't find Devin Toner licking his wounds around the Irish squad base in Maynooth after he was dropped for the Six Nations win in France last weekend.
The Leinster lock has been a first choice under Joe Schmidt, starting all but one Six Nations match since the 2014 edition.
He was named on the replacements bench last week, losing out to 21-year-old Leinster team-mate James Ryan who teamed up in the second row with Ulsterman Iain Henderson.
"Yeah you're always going to be disappointed. I was the first one to say he is a phenomenal talent and he will be in the far future," joked Toner this afternoon at Carton House. "He's obviously going to be a great player.
"It's always disappointing [being left out] but I think I just have to change my mindset to what I needed to do when I was coming off the bench. It's a different training week when you're on the bench. You don't get as many reps training so it's more of a mental game trying to prep yourself. Hopefully I've put my hand up for selection this week."
Despite Ireland getting their first win on the board of the 2018 campaign, they were criticised for many aspects of their performance in Paris and it was widely believed that their post-match video review with head coach Joe Schmidt might be a painful one.
"No a lot of it was positive," Toner said. But there may be some pain yet to come.
"We only really looked at our attack. We haven't looked at our defence yet. We haven't seen the try yet so obviously there'll be negatives around that. A lot of it was the positives, we went through that last phase, where we went through the 41 phases but there was stuff to work on. Coughing up the ball on the 22, there was times where we had the chance to get points on the board and we didn't and that we should have been more ahead than we were. It was a mix of positives and negatives."