The Ireland squad will gather today for the first time this year, as they enter a strict Covid-19-secure bubble for the coming weeks.
Having got a taste for it last year, most players will know what to expect, as every precaution is taken in order to ensure the Six Nations can go ahead as planned.
It will be a testing period for every team and their support group, and although sympathy will be in short supply from the general public, earlier this week we got an insight into how mentally tough some players will find the prospect of being locked down away from their families.
England prop Joe Marler and Italy full-back Matteo Minozzi may be at opposite ends of the experience scale, and while their reasoning may also be different, both players have decided to opt out of their respective Six Nations squads.
It's often easy to look at professional stars as being immune to life's daily pressures, but the mental toll that the pandemic is having on everyone doesn't discriminate, regardless of your profession or status in society.
Younger players with fewer responsibilities may find it easier to immerse themselves in the bubble, yet Minozzi is only 24, and he was honest enough to admit he felt too "physically and mentally tired" to link up with Italy.
The fleet-footed Minozzi is easily the most exciting Italian player to emerge in recent years, so to give his absence some context, it would be like Jordan Larmour telling Andy Farrell that he wasn't feeling up to playing in the Six Nations.
As Minozzi's club (Wasps) boss Lee Blackett succinctly put it, his honesty is "very brave" and, indeed, it should be welcomed.
Over the last few years, Rugby Players Ireland have run an excellent mental health wellbeing campaign called 'Tackle Your Feelings'.
Now, more than ever, people must be encouraged to speak up when they are feeling low, and that two big international names in Minozzi and Marler have done so will hopefully lessen the stigma.
Marler has previously opened up about his own mental health issues, which, it must be said, was no excuse for grabbing Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones' genitals in last season's tournament.
Like so many other players about to enter bubbles, the former Lions loosehead has a young family to think about, so upping and leaving for the next few weeks was far from ideal. It is understood that Marler's wife is pregnant, which is another potential concern that some players and backroom staff may have to bear in mind.
Restrictions around every Six Nations squad have been heightened since last season, as extra testing will be introduced, among the stringent measures.
For Ireland, an average match week for a Saturday game would normally look something like the following: the squad gather at their Kildare base on Sunday evening, train on Monday and Tuesday before being allowed to leave camp for the night and return on Wednesday evening in time for training on Thursday.
Later that day, the squad move into a new Dublin city centre base. The Captain's Run takes place on Friday ahead of Saturday's game, after which the players can again return home to spend time with their families.
There are a lot of moving parts in that kind of schedule and something as simple as being allowed a couple of nights a week to sleep in your own bed can have a huge effect in terms of morale.
None of that will now be possible as Ireland will remain locked down in Kildare, and although the plush surrounds will help ease the frustrations, there are a lot of hours in the day to fill outside of rugby commitments.
Plenty of players in the squad are in the same boat as Marler in that they have a partner and kids - many of whom are currently being home-schooled to add to the list of headaches.
Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster agreed: "Obviously there is a pressure now where, if they go into camp and they can't come out because they're in a bubble and they've got a young family, that's definitely a factor that could weigh on players' minds for sure."
England and Lions prop Mako Vunipola has come out and publicly supported his team-mate Marler's decision to put his family first.
The Ireland squad may not have been impacted directly by players following Marler and Minozzi's lead, but the pair's honesty has at least started a worthwhile conversation that shows just why people are right to think twice about their own personal sacrifices when entering the Six Nations bubble.