Jamie Heaslip has revealed it was his conviction that Ireland will produce some “unbelievable rugby” which persuaded him to reject the opportunity to play in France.
Heaslip recently turned down lucrative offers from Top 14 clubs to extend his contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union until 2014.
The 27-year-old's comeback from an ankle injury on Sunday was shrouded in disappointment as Ireland slipped to a 25-22 defeat by France at Aviva Stadium.
Frustration reigned as an ambitious display containing some electrifying moments was hampered once more by an uncharacteristically high error-count.
Ireland believe their bold new attacking gameplan, introduced in November, offers their best hope of being competitive against top sides. And Heaslip insists they are tantalisingly close to seeing their endeavour rewarded with success.
“It's always the same against France, I don't think there's much between us,” he said.
“We have a very good team which is on the cusp of playing its best rugby since I've been involved. There's no lack of belief or confidence in the squad.
“We have an exceptionally good group of players here in Ireland.
“One of the main reasons for me staying around is that we're on the verge of doing something great and playing some unbelievable rugby. There's no question of us losing faith in our style because we're still scoring tries.”
Ireland head to Edinburgh on Sunday week knowing they are now unlikely to challenge for the title, but convinced they are in reasonable health.
“We scored three tries to one but still lost the game. It was frustrating. The penalties and turnovers hurt us,” said Heaslip.
“We played some very good rugby and there are lot of positives. We created chances and caused problems with the ball.
“But the negatives are that when you score three tries to one you usually win the game.
“We have a very good defensive system and I have faith in it. We can take a lot of pressure from teams.”