Ireland and Ulster centre Darren Cave has revealed that an email on Sunday evening confirmed his place in this summer's Rugby World Cup squad.

The team was leaked to the press on Monday evening and made official on Tuesday morning, but the players got the nod at the weekend according to the 28-year-old Holywood man.

“It was a stressful weekend to say the least. I was checking the emails a few times. One came through on Sunday evening [that confirmed my selection]," Cave told RTÉ Sport.

“I knew I had a decent chance but was also aware that it was hugely competitive in the backs.

“Thankfully it went my way in the end.”

There are seven Ulster players in the squad and Cave feels that the Ulstermen's good form in the Pro12 and European Cup had been rewarded by an enlarged presence in the Ireland squad.

“It’s not a bad effort. I think it’s testament to the work that’s been done over the years. Neil Doak always says when the team does better more players end up in the national squad. In the last four years Ulster have gone much better than in the past - much more competitive," said Cave.

“There’s been some overseas players that have helped but there’s also been a core of Irish players. “

The specialist centre also admitted that the decision over his inclusion in the squad had dominated his life over the last number of months and that he was keen to get a decision one way or the other.

“It was great to hear something in the end because it’s taken over my life over the last couple of months" - Darren Cave.

“It was great to hear something in the end because it’s taken over my life over the last couple of months," said Cave.

“My brother got married last week and it was nice to have a day away. The wedding just sort of snuck up on me as I hadn't been looking forward to it that much as it [the squad decision] has consumed my life the last couple of months.

“It’s nice to get some clarity and put a line under things.

“You sort of get up on Monday and double check the email is still there. And check it says dear Darren up at the top and it wasn’t a mistake. At the time as well you don’t know who’s in, so as you come in to camp you see who’s in and say, 'well done'."

In order to keep the decision from the press - which failed as a result of the leak - Cave kept his celebrations low-key.

“There wasn’t too much said. I let my girlfriend know and my parents at the time," said Cave.

“Other than that I tried to keep it under the hat.

“There’s no hiding the fact it’s a great opportunity. I felt my form last year was pretty good.

“In the couple of run-outs I’ve had this year. One at 12, one at 13, they both went pretty well, so I’m just hoping to get back on the pitch soon.”