Ireland centre Chris Farrell has said that the players are well aware of the expectation on the national side, as they look forward to Italy on Saturday and their World Cup campaign.
The Munster centre was speaking at Carton House ahead of the Italians' visit to Dublin, and was keen to dispel any sense of a lingering Six Nations hangover from a relatively disappointing campaign.
"There was not necessarily a sense that we needed to change an awful lot," said Farrell of the team's preparations.
"If a few things had clicked for us in this Six Nations that did click for us the year before then we could have had a very different outcome.
"It's about getting off to a very good start, and that didn't happen in the Six Nations, whereas as it did in the last. I wouldn't say that the players are heaping pressure on each other, and mounting pressure on top of pressure because of how the Six Nations went, but we certainly have higher expectations than what we showed in the Six Nations.
"We have all had lots of time to look back and reflect on how we played in the Six Nations, individually and collectively. I would like to think that all the work that has gone into that will stand for us in the future."
Farrell also opened up about his comfort in an Ireland jersey, and whether he feels as at home in the national setup as with his provincial team, Munster.
"I feel comfortable enough. This last two years, I had that injury that had me out for nine months. Maybe that has affected how many caps I have been able to amount, but I feel really comfortable and feel at home here in Carton House with everybody else, and in training I feel very comfortable.
"It is just a matter of time before I can hopefully put my hand up and heap more pressure on the other lads that play, and prove myself to the coaching staff."
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