Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan and captain Brian O'Driscoll has saluted the great Welsh revival under Mike Ruddock.
Wales will land the RBS 6 Nations title and secure their first Grand Slam for 27 years if they beat the Triple Crown-chasing Irish in Cardiff on Saturday.
It would represent an amazing turnaround for a country that was whitewashed in the RBS 6 Nations just two years ago, and the extent of Wales' recovery has not been lost on either O'Sullivan or O'Driscoll.
Ireland can spoil the party tomorrow if they win by a minimum 13-point margin and snatch silverware from Wales' grasp, but it represents a sizeable challenge for a side whose own Grand Slam hopes disappeared with defeat against France last Saturday.
"I have known Mike for a while. He was involved with Bectiv Rangers for a time and with Leinster, and he has been a fantastic person for Irish rugby and Welsh rugby," O'Sullivan said.
"He was handed a difficult job when he took over from Steve Hansen last year. There was only one way for Wales to go, and that was up.
"I think he has handled the situation brilliantly, and he seems to have taken Welsh rugby to a new level in a very short space of time.
"It would be bad for the Six Nations if the same two sides kept coming through every season, and it is good for the Celtic nations to be up there. I think that Wales have been a breath of fresh air this season."
O'Driscoll also paid tribute to Ruddock.
''Mike is a very good coach - he is the man who gave me my first contract,'' he said.
England Under-18 head coach John Fletcher insists his young side will be better for the experience after beating Italy in the bronze final to round out their 2015 Rugby Europe U18 Championship campaign in style.