Rory Best says he is looking forward to getting started in his new role as Ireland captain.
The Ulster hooker has been chosen for the role after head coach Joe Schmidt named an extended 35-man squad ahead of this year's Six Nations.
Best, who captains Ulster at provincial level, will be deputised by vice-captain Jamie Heaslip and described the honour as a dream come true.
"It's a massive honour for me and my family," he said.
"It's something that you dream of when you're growing up, playing for Ireland and then to be asked to captain the side and this exciting group of players, it's something that I'm privileged to do and I'm very much looking forward to."
The 33-year-old, who has already skippered Ireland four times, says that he plans to base his captaincy on his predecessor, Paul O'Connell.
"He was very much a talismanic captain and I suppose that's sort of the way I'll try to be in that I'll lead a bit by what I say but also [with] my actions. It's a big challenge following on from Paulie but one that I'm relishing," he said.