James Hook has labelled Wales' Triple Crown trip to Ireland as their "biggest test" yet - but he is confident of returning home with the trophy.
Wales head to Dublin on top of the RBS 6 Nations table and in buoyant mood after successive victories over England, Scotland and Italy.
From the doom and gloom that followed their World Cup disaster, Wales are now one step from silverware and two steps from rugby heaven and the Grand Slam.
Warren Gatland’s men claimed pole position in the title race with a 47-8 victory over the Azzurri on Saturday.
But Wales expect Ireland to pose a significant threat at Croke Park a week on Saturday following their five-try demolition of Scotland.
Hook said: “It’s going to be a massive game in Dublin, our biggest test, and if we pull through that we are on to big things then.
“We’d have ripped your arm off at the start of the championship to be going for Triple Crown on the back of three wins.
“There’s still a bit of work to do, but we are more than capable of beating Ireland out there.”
Wales have not succeeded in that quest since 2000 when, ironically, Gatland was in charge of Ireland.
Hook is at the centre of Gatland’s biggest selection headache after Stephen Jones made an impressive return to the team on Saturday.
Gatland made six changes for the Italy game - including Jones for Hook - and said at the team announcement that those who had started the first two games were still in the box seat.
It is all part of his attempt to drive the team forward by building intense competition within the squad and keeping players on edge.
“It is about trying to make this group of players reasonably elite,” said Gatland.
“There are a lot of players in Wales who are desperate to be part of the group. And you want the players who are here to feel privileged, that they have an opportunity but they have to perform because they are under pressure.
“That is what we have tried to create and I think we have been successful in doing that.”
Consequently, Hook is unsure where he stands and was not only determined to prove his worth when he came off the bench on Saturday, but will do so in training this week in the hope of convincing Gatland.
“When I came on against Italy, there were gaps all over the place and we cut them nearly every time we had the ball in the last 10 minutes,” said Hook.
“The boys worked hard early on and wore them down and we got the result in the end. I was just happy to get on, especially when they were worn down. There were opportunities to chuck the ball about a bit.
“Personally I have done my best and it’s just fingers crossed and hopefully I’ll get the nod.”