Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll insists his side must improve on their impressive autumn performances if they are to win the RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Ireland were installed as pre-tournament favourites following comprehensive November victories over South Africa and Australia at Lansdowne Road.
But O'Driscoll warned that, in modern Test rugby, to stand still is to die and the captain has demanded more from his men - starting against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday.
'It would be a great disappointment if we didn't improve on the autumn,' said O'Driscoll.
'People were patting us on the back, saying how wonderfully we played. But we have plenty still to improve on. You need realise that and not think you are the finished article.
'A team doesn't stay the same - they get better or they get worse. I hope we are going to get better.
'Facing Wales first up has sharpened us as much as we possibly can - we realise what a big challenge it is.'
Ireland look to have a considerable edge, helped by Wales' injury problems and the loss on Thursday of Gareth Thomas to suspension.
Ireland's lineout is the best in Europe, Ronan O'Gara is in the form of his life at fly-half and, in Gordon D'Arcy and Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland boast a potent centre partnership.
Shane Horgan misses out through injury but coach Eddie O'Sullivan has strength in depth and recalled Andrew Trimble onto the wing with Geordan Murphy on the bench.
Wales have not been so fortunate. Coach Gareth Jenkins has been reduced to his fifth-choice winger after losing Shane Williams and Mark Jones to injury and Thomas' suspension.
A back three of rookie Chris Czekaj, Hal Luscombe and Kevin Morgan has a makeshift look about it, while Jamie Robinson replaces the injured Tom Shanklin in the midfield.
Wales are targeting Ireland's scrum as a potential weakness and named a powerful pack, led by front row trio Chris Horsman, Gethin Jenkins and Rhys Thomas.
Gareth Jenkins said: 'It is a tactical selection because I believe the three players I have picked can challenge Ireland in that area. It is not one of Ireland's strengths, that's for sure.'