British & Irish Lions full-back Rob Kearney is urging Ireland to become serious contenders for the 2015 World Cup.
Kearney, who has represented the Lions eight times in two tours, played in Ireland’s win in their second Test against Argentina on Saturday, but the Irish have looked less than convincing in their South American tour.
And the 28-year-old Leinster back says Ireland cannot afford to be left behind with the World Cup on the horizon and other nations building for success.
“We always try and judge ourselves by performances, while results are important,” Kearney told the Irish Examiner.
“If, after winning the Six Nations, we are striving to be proper World Cup contenders, then you have to judge yourself on performances. So I suppose it’s between the two.
“The World Cup is still a long way away, but that’s what we’re striving for. We want to build a squad here that can be World Cup contenders, we’ve always said that on our day, we can match or beat the best.
“But the standard is increasing right across the world. New Zealand are getting hard to beat, the English are getting strong and South Africa bashed Wales. We have to keep evolving and improving because, if we don’t, we’ll be left behind.”