Ireland's Richard Dunne relishes the big stage provided by Euro 2012


Richard Dunne says he cannot wait to make up for lost time as he prepares to taste major tournament action for the first time.

The 32-year-old was part of the Republic of Ireland squad for the 2002 World Cup, but did not feature as Mick McCarthy's men came within a whisker of the quarter-finals.

At Euro 2012, they face a tough challenge in a group that includes Italy and holders Spain and the Aston Villa defender said: "I can't wait. They are the biggest games of all of our lives, probably. I am really confident about how strong we are and if things go our way as far as luck is, we can definitely give everyone a test."