The Irish provinces are about to find out just how much their respective positive starts to the Guinness PRO14 season will help them make what is a massive step up in quality as a new Heineken Champions Cup campaign beckons.
There has barely been time to draw breath after the end of the international season, but Europe is upon us again as the road to Marseille begins.
All four Irish teams arrive at the starting line full of confidence having dominated the PRO14, but across the board there is an acceptance that it would be naive to read too much into the sweeping number of victories which has seen Leinster, Munster and Ulster racking up 100 per cent winning records.
The reshaped structure of this season's tournament leaves little margin for error, so let's take a look at Ireland's chances of having a winner etched on the famous trophy come May 29.
Whatever optimism was floating around Belfast this week ahead of the arrival of an excellent Toulouse team will have been dampened by Ulster's latest injury update.
Dan McFarland needed as many of his big names on board as possible as his side look to reverse last season's quarter-final defeat to Toulouse, but the loss of Billy Burns and Iain Henderson in particular is significant.
To add to the gloom, attack coach Dwayne Peel has announced that he will be leaving for Cardiff at the end of the season, so all in all it hasn't been a great few days for Ulster.
They must quickly put that disappointment behind them because if Toulouse smell blood, they will take full advantage.
Ulster continue to make strides and, although they shouldn't fear Gloucester, a tricky route to the knockout stages awaits.
Andy Friend could hardly have asked for a more difficult draw as Connacht face last season's beaten finalists Racing 92 as well as Challenge Cup winners Bristol Bears.
There are plenty of familiar faces among both opponents, particularly Bristol, as an emotional return to Galway lies ahead for the likes of Pat Lam, John Muldoon, Conor McPhillips and Niyi Adeolokun.
By the time Bristol arrive at the Sportsground on Sunday week, Connacht will have travelled to the U-Arena, where Racing have never lost a Champions Cup pool game.
Competing on two fronts has always been a challenge for Connacht, but their squad is in good shape right now as they look to upset the odds over the coming weeks.
For all of the progress that Leinster have made, the manner of last season's quarter-final defeat will sting for some time yet.
Leo Cullen's men should have little trouble advancing to the knockout stages, as they face Montpellier and Northampton.
It won't be easy, but as Montpellier have generally been very inconsistent in Europe, if Leinster can come away with a win on Saturday, it will set them up nicely for what should be a five-pointer at home to a struggling Northampton outfit.
Tadhg Furlong is a major loss, but Leinster have the squad depth to cope as they continue on their quest to add a record fifth star to their crest.
Something clicked within Munster during the off-season because since the disappointing PRO14 semi-final defeat to Leinster, they have looked completely rejuvenated.
The youngsters are thriving, while the game plan has been altered in such a way that Munster have been much more exciting to watch.
That Johann van Graan has been able to back it up with results is a major bonus. The question now is will they maintain that same approach in the Champions Cup?
Joey Carbery and RG Snyman are major absentees, but Van Graan has had enough time to plan without two of his key men.
A reunion with Jerry Flannery's Harlequins is first up on Sunday before a daunting trip to Clermont, as Munster look to back-up their impressive improvements on the big stage.