Caelan Doris is ‘happy’ with his form but still has a lot to learn

Caelan Doris expects to get “a lot better” as he prepares for his first World Cup.

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In Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning Six Nations campaign, the Leinster back row started all five games and was shortlisted for player of the tournament.

“I want to keep improving as a player,” Doris told BBC Sport NI.

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“I’ve been relatively happy with how I’ve gone over the last couple of years but I think I can still get a lot better.”

Earlier in the summer, he played a key role in Ireland’s triumph over the All Blacks in New Zealand.

Following his debut at the 2020 Six Nations, Doris has established himself as one of Ireland’s key players.

With 28 caps for the national team, the 25-year-old now hopes to help Ireland qualify for its first World Cup later this year.

“It would be incredible,” Doris said when asked what it would mean to line out for Ireland on rugby’s biggest stage.

“It’s been great. [It’s] my first World Cup pre-season, so there’s been quite a bit of excitement around it.

“I love playing with this team. I love taking to the pitch with them, hanging out off the pitch, so it would mean a hell of a lot.”

In France, Doris is expected to be among a number of Irish World Cup debutants after securing his spot in Andy Farrell’s starting line-up.

There are several players who have played in Ireland’s previous World Cup campaigns, including the quarter-final exit to New Zealand in 2019.

Taking advantage of the “lessons” experienced players have learned from previous tournaments has already formed part of Doris’ preparation.

“The older lads have had multiple World Cup pre-seasons and experiences at the actual World Cup themselves.

“There are definitely lessons that can be learnt off them in terms of how they prepare in pre-season, a lot of that.

“We’ve taken those lessons on board and a lot of our training and fitness work has been done with rugby at the core of it as opposed to just mindless running, so that’s been nice. The whole experience has been exciting.”

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