Brian O'Driscoll believes the British and Irish Lions have built the ideal platform from which to launch their assault on world champions South Africa.
The Lions have forged a sense of togetherness on an unbeaten run into the Test series that O'Driscoll feels was missing when he captained the ill-fated 2005 tour of New Zealand.
And having experienced heartache twice before, O'Driscoll is determined to ensure 2009 goes down in history as a triumphant year for the Lions.
"We are where we want to be. We have won all our games, our training has been good, the environment has been good," said the Ireland captain.
"I think we are better equipped (than in 2005) to win the opening Test because the team is more together. We have more of an idea what we need to do.
"We need things to go right for us but I feel we have the capability to create a huge amount and the work rate and the mentality as well.
"I want to be part of a winning Lions series - I have said it from day one. I had no interest in touring and being part of a squad that lost the series. I have been there and done that.
"I would like to be part of a team that creates history and does something special. That starts on Saturday."
O'Driscoll has experienced wide-ranging emotions in a Lions jersey. In 2001 he scored a brilliant solo try as the Lions beat Australia in Brisbane only to lose the series 2-1.
In 2005, he faced down the haka as captain but lasted only 40 seconds of the first Test against New Zealand when he suffered a dislocated shoulder.
This season O'Driscoll has captained Ireland to the Grand Slam and won his first ever Heineken Cup, but those past Lions experiences still rankle and there is something missing from his CV.
"This is where you want to be, this is the pinnacle of being a rugby player in Britain and Ireland, being down here against the world champions," he said.
"I won't over-think things. I will treat it like another Test match and try and enjoy the atmosphere as much as I can and play as best I can. We will play it seriously but we will play it with a smile on our face."
After missing out on England's 2015 RBS 6 Nations campaign through injury, centre Brad Barritt admits he is determined to make up for that disappointment in style with club side Saracens during the season run-in.