Prop Marcus Horan is convinced Ireland will embrace the pressure of tomorrow's RBS 6 Nations title-decider because now they justify the hype.
Ireland will add to their solitary Grand Slam of 1948 should they prevail against reigning champions Wales in the tournament's eagerly-awaited climax at the Millennium Stadium.
Since toppling France in the RBS 6 Nations opener they have been viewed as favourites, a mantle that traditionally sits uneasily on Irish shoulders.
The last time they were talked up was the World Cup two years ago when they crashed out at the group stage, shattering fanciful predictions they would reach the semi-finals.
But veteran Munster loosehead Horan insists his team-mates will handle the expectation tomorrow - because it is deserved.
"Going into the World Cup there was talk of semi-finals and finals," said Horan.
"That baffled me - I don't know where it came from, certainly not from the Irish camp. In that sense I felt the pressure on us was uncomfortable.
"It wasn't like we'd won the Six Nations heading into the World Cup.
"It's different this time because it feels like we've achieved it. We've done something this time - winning all our games.
"People can write what they want but we feel it ourselves. That feeling wasn't there among the team heading into the World Cup.
"There is massive pressure on us going into this match but it's a good pressure. It's great that we're in this situation and unbeaten.
"We need to accept that as any team that is unbeaten will create a bit of fear in the opposition. It's important for us to use that to our advantage.
"Everyone is really looking forward to the challenge because we haven't been in this situation for a while.
"It's nice to prepare for the final match of the competition with something huge to play for."
The World Cup followed a period in which Ireland secured three Triple Crowns in four years, each time losing out on the title and clean sweep to France.
A 42-6 drubbing by England in the 2003 Grand Slam decider may have been the hardest to take.
But Horan, one of three survivors from that day at Lansdowne Road alongside John Hayes and Brian O'Driscoll, believes Ireland are now better placed to succeed.
"There's more belief in the team this time," said the 31-year-old front row.
"That English side was fantastic and it was always going to be difficult to win that one.
"England went on to win the World Cup, so that tells you what we were up against. But we're better equipped now.
"We have plenty of experience while the younger lads are playing with confidence beyond their years."
Two seasons later Ireland travelled to Cardiff with the title in their sights once again only to be routed 32-20 by Mike Ruddock's Grand Slam-winning side.
Horan, who has played in all but 25 minutes of the current campaign, made a try-scoring appearance from the bench and knows that this time Ireland are in pole position.
Wales must triumph by at least 13 points to retain their crown, forcing them to force the pace tomorrow.
"There are a lot of guys with memories of losing to Wales in 2005," said Horan, who will win his 66th cap on Saturday.
"We were on course for a Triple Crown ourselves and it was a huge disappointment.
"The hype of that day made for an emotionally charged stadium and it will be no different tomorrow.
"They are champions and have a lot of pride. There's a bit of pressure on them but they're a good side.
"They have a target for getting points but it will be about winning first and seeing whatever happens after that."