There is so much riding on the results of the Republic of Ireland's World Cup play-offs with France tonight and next Wednesday (some would argue the mood of the nation), that is hard to justify the importance of the Irish rugby team's 'friendly' clash with Australia at Croke Park tomorrow.
Once Ireland are not involved in a Six Nations or World Cup encounter people struggle to see how the result matters.
It does matter, hugely, and the evidence will be in the intensity of both sides in what is shaping up to be a fascinating battle.
Under Kidney, Ireland have a superb record of nine wins from 10 matches, what they don't have is a victory over one of the Southern Hemisphere's big three.
In their sole outing against a Tri-Nations side this time last year, Ireland were no match for New Zealand and tomorrow offers the opportunity to assess how far they have travelled in 12 months.
The Grand Slam laid down a marker for this Irish team but, while the Six Nations title will again be a priority in the new year, this month's meetings with Australia and South Africa and next summer's jousts in New Zealand and Australia are arguably more relevant to our World Cup prospects.
There is now the fascinating prospect of the Irish looking to expand their game-plan beyond the structured approach that landed the Grand Slam last spring.
They have the weaponry in the backline. Stung by a Lions experience that did not do his form or talents justice, Luke Fitzgerald looks ravenous this season and forms a quality back three with Rob Kearney and Tommy Bowe.
Brian O'Driscoll's excellence throws more fuel on the fire of Irish optimism, while Paddy Wallace is a nice foil for the Leinster at inside centre.
Wallace has displayed a calm authority for Ulster this season, his pace and breaking abilities are under-rated while his kicking and distribution skills will be of considerable use when Ronan O'Gara comes under pressure.
At scrum-half, Tomas O'Leary will have to keep tabs on Australia's explosive talent Will Genia, who ran riot in Twickenham. However, O'Leary's marshalling skills are impeccable and he carries his own muscular and pacy threat in attack.
The back-row contest promises to be one of the highlights. The Irish trio need to pressure Matt Giteau's breaking abilities at 10 and limit the turnover-winning capacity David Pocock.
Concerns over Hayes after his month-and-a-half lay-off are misplaced, the Cappamore man will roll up and do his thing with customary efficiency and lack of fuss while Ireland's engine room of Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan are good enough to dominate James Horwill and Mark Chisholm. And Healy? Sit back and watch, he's here to stay.
However, the strongest reason for backing Ireland tomorrow is the quality of their backroom team. Kidney, Les Kiss, Gert Smal, Alan Gaffney and manager Paul McNaughton have created a winning environment.
Australia go into the contest after a run of games which may help them seize an early advantage but Ireland's overall quality and self-belief is powerful to see them sneak home. Giteau versus O'Gara, O'Leary versus Genia, Elsom versus Ferris and Heaslip versus Palu are clashes to savour — this is going to be full on.
Friendly? Not so much.