Ten days from now, Ireland will be looking to kickstart the 2018 Six Nations campaign with victory in Paris.
With home fixtures against Italy and Wales to follow, a win would potentially provide a perfect launchpad for momentum building.
The anticipation was building today as the captains and head coaches set out their stall in London for the 2018 Six Nations launch.
For Ireland, emerging contenders are staking their claims for match-day selection while some of the more experienced names have been hit by injury.
"It's nice to be able to pick a lot of players on form and some are picked on the experience that they've had and the form that they've shown with us in the past so that combination has allowed us to be pretty comfortable with the squad that we have selected, albeit that there are some pretty strong candidates who aren't available to us - the likes of Sean O'Brien, Rhys Ruddock, Jamie Heaslip, Jared Payne, Garry Ringrose," he said.
Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
"You start to go down the list and you can accumulate a number of players. You can reflect on that but huge focus is on who is there."
Schmidt cited Jack Conan and Josh van der Flier as players who will be keen to establish themselves in the place of others.
Leinster's exciting young talent Jordan Larmour is one of those putting a hand up for selection at 15 or on the wing.
"Jordan first came into camp with us 16 months ago. It's not like it's a surprise to us. I first saw him when he was fresh out of St Andrew's College and I chatted to him at that time and we've had an opportunity to have different conversations with him coming in and out of camp a few times," said Schmidt.
"So this is his first time selected in the squad in camp. He's incredibly motivated, trained well yesterday so all the steps he's taking are those that would suggest that he wants to make the most of the opportunity and we want to make the most of his talents. So that's a nice place to be at the moment."
Speaking to our own Oisin Langan, he also added that Larmour adds some flexibility "with his pace and change of direction."