Simon Easterby insists the time has come for Ireland to finally live up to expectations and land their first Five or Six Nations title since 1985.
Two years ago the Irish were hot tips for the championship only to blow their chance with defeats on the last two weekends to France at home and to Wales in Cardiff.
Last season Ireland hit back to win the Triple Crown with a dramatic victory at Twickenham and then continued that impressive form into the autumn when they comprehensively dismantled South Africa and Australia.
Those wins saw Ireland once again installed as favourites for the RBS 6 Nations - and this time Easterby is determined it will be their year.
"There is an expectation on us now, maybe more so than there was two years ago, and it is time we lived up to that,' he said, after being selected ahead of Ulster's Neil Best to start against Wales.
"We are two years more mature, two years more experienced.
"We have had some setbacks along the way in the last couple of years and hopefully we will be stronger for those experiences.
"It doesn't get a much tougher place to go and play first up than Cardiff.
"We have got to physically try and dominate the Welsh and if we can dominate them up front I think our backs are as good as any in the world."
Easterby edged into the side ahead of Ulster's Best, one of many difficult decisions Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan had to make for the trip to Cardiff.
Leinster's Girvan Dempsey starts at full-back to win his 70th Test cap and, with Shane Horgan out injured, Denis Hickie starts on one wing and Andrew Trimble returns on the other, forcing Leicester's Geordan Murphy on to the bench.
Easterby is the Llanelli Scarlets captain and club-mate to the likes of Wales skipper Stephen Jones, who was best man at his wedding, Dwayne Peel, Mark Jones and Alix Popham.
He also knows the Wales coach Gareth Jenkins better than anyone in the Ireland camp after working under him for many years at Stradey Park.
Easterby said: 'There will be plenty I know about certain players, especially their half-backs.
"If I can bring some inside knowledge to Ireland's performance then hopefully that will be of benefit to the side.'
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