Paul O'Connell believes Ireland have only hinted at their true potential by landing a second Triple Crown in three years, with their backline holding the key to greater honours.
The forwards have provided plenty going forward, namely against Scotland and England, but Brian O'Driscoll and co have been subdued, showing only flashes of brilliance.
O'Connell knows the summer tour to the southern hemisphere will supply the true gauge of Irish progress and feels the inspiration for further glory will be provided by the backs.
''We'll know how far we've come when we go down to the southern hemisphere and play Australia and New Zealand,'' he said.
''We toured both countries three and four years ago but without as good a side as we have now and nearly beat them. We'll have to try and do the same again.
''A Triple Crown is brilliant but the big test will be the southern hemisphere. Look at the talent we have. Ireland have always had a good pack which can mix it with teams.
''But with the backs we have we should be kicking on from a Triple Crown. We need to start looking at Grand Slams and winning away from home in the southern hemisphere.
''We have to make the most of what we have because I don't see a backline like the one we have coming around that often. Anything is possible with these players.''
Ireland's forwards laid the foundations for victory against Italy, Wales and Scotland but it was a back who provided the sprinkling of stardust needed for the victory at Twickenham.
''When you have backs like Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy and Geordan Murphy there are always tries that can be produced from nowhere,'' said O'Connell
''In the end they scored down the blindside when Shaggy (Horgan) did unbelievably well. With players like that in the side anything can happen.
''It was a very tough, physical game. England probably have the biggest pack we'll play against. But we defended well and communicated with each other.
''We had made some good half breaks. We need to get over the line a bit more and that's something we must look at. We're still chasing an 80-minute performance.
''But winning tight games against top opposition was a big step forward for us. You need to win tight games - that's what good teams do. We've been close to it for years but now we're doing it," he added.
England flanker James Haskell insists he will be pushing as hard as possible to be back from a toe injury in time to make his case for a spot in Eddie Jones' side looking to defend their RBS 6 Nations title next year.