Devin Toner has admitted he must “front up” against Romania to win back his starting place in Ireland’s first-choice World Cup line-up.
Leinster lock Toner was an integral part of Ireland’s successive RBS 6 Nations triumphs, but was summarily dropped by boss Joe Schmidt for the start of the World Cup.
Toner admitted he must raise the stakes after a poor showing in Ireland’s final warm-up match, a 21-13 defeat to England at Twickenham on September 5.
Ulster powerhouse Iain Henderson slotted in to fine effect in the 50-7 opening Pool D win over Canada in Cardiff, leaving Toner playing catch-up.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me personally and hopefully I can take it,” said Toner, ahead of Ireland’s clash with Romania at Wembley on Sunday.
“It’s absolutely massive.
“I was obviously disappointed not to be involved last week but it just reinforces the fact that everyone has to perform in every game and you take every game in isolation.
“One hundred per cent Iain’s (Henderson) performance last week increases the pressure.
“You can see the competition for places now, there’s real quality throughout.
“And it just reinforces the strength in depth.
“Hendy’s playing brilliantly well so I’ve really got to front up this week.”