Brian O'Driscoll has welcomed the opportunity to mark his milestone 50th cap as Ireland captain by adding the only outstanding major Test scalp to his collection.
A century-long rivalry against New Zealand, spanning 21 matches, has proved almost fruitless for Ireland, who have a solitary draw in 1973 to show for their efforts.
Recent meetings between the sides have seen them edge closer to securing that elusive first victory, succumbing by no more than 11 points in the last three Tests.
A prized triumph against the All Blacks would enable O'Driscoll to celebrate his landmark achievement in historic fashion, but the 2005 Lions skipper in New Zealand knows only too well the size of the task.
"Reaching 50 caps as captain is a huge honour. The first was an honour, as was being selected to captain your country the first time," he said.
"I never dreamt I'd reach 50 caps as captain. It's special and you want to mark the big occasions by playing the biggest teams.
"It doesn't get much bigger than the All Blacks at Croke Park and it's a hugely exciting prospect.
"Our record against the All Blacks speaks for itself. They're the only international team I've never beaten, whether that's for Ireland or the Lions.
"It's an enormous challenge. You want to prove yourself against the best sides.
"There's nothing like the feeling in a dressing room after you've taken a big scalp."
O'Driscoll believes Ireland's perennial struggle against the Tri-Nations champions means it is Graham Henry's side who will be burdened by expectation on Saturday.
"We need to make ourselves difficult to beat. The pressure isn't so much on us because we've never beaten them," he said.
"The pressure is on them so the best attitude for us is to see if we can put ourselves in a position to win by being hard to beat.
"If in the last 10 minutes it's a one-score game then it's all to play for."
Ireland enter the match with a new face at scrum-half after head coach Declan Kidney preferred Tomas O'Leary ahead of Eoin Reddan.
O'Leary claimed his solitary cap as a replacement in Argentina last year and has been rewarded for a fine campaign with Munster.
The 25-year-old is one of six changes to the side that thumped Canada 55-0 with Girvan Dempsey, John Hayes, Rory Best, Alan Quinlan and David Wallace also restored to the line-up.