Ireland head coach Andy Farrell wanted to take his players out of their comfort zone when he summoned them to a 24-hour training camp at the IRFU's highly impressive new High Performance Centre at the Sport Campus Ireland in Abbottstown.

To do that, they went singing: carol singing to be precise, collecting money for homeless charity Focus Ireland by belting out a few tunes on Grafton Street and College Green in Dublin.

Farrell - who took the reins from Joe Schmdit after the World Cup - gathered a 45-strong squad yesterday for a brief get-together, holding meetings, light training and a brainstorming session with his coaching staff.

They'll meet up again in January to tune up for the opening Six Nations clash against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on 1 February, with Farrell keen to get everyone on the same wave length as quickly as possible.

"I did a little bit of singing and a little bit of collecting," he told RTÉ Sport's Michael Corcoran.

"Christmas is about giving back and we're in a privileged position to be able to give back. Some of the boys were a little bit vulnerable out there! But they did a fantastic job. We want them to be a little bit vulnerable. If you are, you open up and we can form relationships."

And that has been the main goal over the last 24 hours. Farrell called up the likes of Billy Burns, Tom O'Toole (both Ulster), Will Connors, Max Deegan, Caelan Doris, Jamison Gibson Park and Rónan Kelleher (all Leinster) and Caolin Blade (Connacht) in a freshened up panel in new surroundings.

"I suppose it is (a fresh start) because of where we are," he added.

"We normally turn up at Carton House, we know the routine there and the training facilities et cetera are great, but this (the High Performance Centre) is special to us.

"It's why the IRFU have put so much time and effort into it. Hopefully this will help us progress our game; that's what matters.

"We did a bit of chatting, a bit of planning, a bit of forward thinking. We laid a few markers. Hopefully they go away with a few key messages and hopefully we've whetted their appetite for when they come back in in January. 

"The vibe was good, that's for sure."

After a disappointing exit in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, it's a clean slate for the Ireland players heading into 2020 and Farrell has used his first camp to lay out exactly what is required for anyone to get their hands on a jersey.

"You see it in their eyes today. The 45-man squad that's been here, they are really excited. There's a real want to be involved there.

"They've got to prove that over the next couple of weeks, through December and into January. We've made it very clear what it's going to take to get into that squad. 

"It's great for us to spend some time with the boys we don't know. we get to know them a bit better. When we come to make decisions down the line we'll be a bit clearer on that.

"We've got a great group, very knowledgeable, forward thinking, innovative and with a great energy. We're off to a decent start in the this camp. We'll take stock of what's happened, iron a few things out and hopefully hit the ground running in January.