Six Nations 2020: Devin Toner says Ireland return 'means the world'

Devin Toner and Ireland team-mates after last August's hammering by England at Twickenham
Toner's last game against England was part of the Ireland team thumped 57-15 last August
Six Nations Championship: England v Ireland
Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Sunday, 23 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app.

Devin Toner says it "means the world" to be back in Ireland's starting team and that playing England on Sunday will be the "pinnacle" of his career.

The 33-year-old's Ireland career looked over after he was a shock exclusion from last autumn's World Cup squad.

But new coach Andy Farrell recalled Toner and Iain Henderson's absence after the birth of his son meant late inclusion for the Twickenham game.

"It's huge for everyone who gets a chance to play here," said Toner.

"So it's kind of the pinnacle of your career to play a game for Ireland against England in Twickenham.

"If you'd told me a couple of months ago I'd be starting against England at Twickenham I probably wouldn't have believed you, so delighted to get the chance.

"Obviously Hendy [Henderson] was picked to start and he's had a fantastic tournament and obviously delighted for him on the birth of his second child, so he'll be at home getting some sleep," added the 69-times capped lock.

Ireland crossed the Irish Sea on the back of successive Dublin wins over Scotland and Wales and with a second Triple Crown in three years within touching distance.

Toner came on as a replacement in each of those matches and received a rapturous reception from the Aviva Stadium crowd.

"It's an easy place to slot back into, obviously because I'm very familiar with everything that's going on.

"I knew there were reasons why I didn't get selected to go to the World Cup and then I just tried to knuckle down at the start of the season with Leinster."

Ireland secured the 2018 Grand Slam title at Twickenham but were twice thumped by England last year, shipping 89 points in the process.

Toner came on during the 57-15 loss to Eddie Jones' side in London in August, while his previous Six Nations start came in the 32-20 Dublin defeat to England during the opening round of last year's tournament.

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