Ulster Branch chief executive Michael Reid believes that tonight's historic game will serve as a tremendous boost for rugby in the province.
It has been a busy year at Ravenhill with the international game following hard on the heels of the Branch's hosting of the IRB Under-19 World Championships in April.
And with 14,100 supporters packing into Ravenhill and the weather set to be fine, Reid hopes tonight's extravaganza will be the perfect World Cup send-off for Eddie O'Sullivan's men.
" This is a very different occasion tonight," said Reid. "If you look at who's coming to the match, they are largely from the north, but a lot of them a very different to our normal audience.
"A lot of tickets where sold through clubs and the schools rather than all through ourselves, some from the other provinces, some from the IRFU and different commercial companies than we are used to.
"It will have a different dynamic and the ground looks completely different with the temporary stand in. It will be the biggest crowd we have had here since the (European Cup) semi-final against Stade Francais in 1999. And it promises to be a great occasion."
While the game itself is not a big earner for the Ulster Branch given that most of the revenue will go straight to the IRFU who are bearing the costs of the match, Reid believes the occasion will lead to more spin-offs for the local game
"This is less about money and more about a feel-good factor," added Reid.
"People who can't see the game live can see it on TV and hopefully will look at its very best.
"It is a positive - not just for rugby and the Ulster Branch, but also for Belfast and Northern Ireland. We are very lucky in that maybe by default we have an opportunity for the first time in 53 years to stage an Ireland game at Ravenhill.
"One of the strengths of the IRFU is that it is an all-Ireland body, but unfortunately for a whole variety of reasons, mostly being that our stadium wasn't big enough, when the games have rarely moved from Leinster they have gone to Munster.
"I think it is right and proper that we get a chance to show off what we can do in Ulster."
Ireland have named a full-strength side and this is the last international the players will have before they get to the World Cup.
There has been some debate regarding anthems for the game - only Ireland's Call will be played instead of the previous protocol at Ravenhill of playing God Save the Queen. Reid said the game was bigger than that.
"There has been a lot of discussion about it (the anthems issue), but I personally took the view and the Branch took the view when we discussed it, that we had two options," added Reid.
"You take an international game of rugby, with a full-strength Ireland side north of the border for the first time in all those years or you dig your heels in and say 'we will not have the game here unless we have this, this, this and this'.
"The view of the Ulster Branch was that the IRFU has a policy on the anthem side that they play Ireland's Call outside the Republic. And there are only two flagpoles here and they will carry the IRFU flag and the Italian flag.
"To me, they were relatively simple decisions. They were discussed in full, but the Branch was unanimously behind it."