There's lions and tigers out there
For all the talk of Wales taking another stride towards a second straight Grand Slam in Paris on Friday night, events in Dublin on Saturday could have an equally telling impact in shaping the outcome of this year's Six Nations Championship.
If Ireland are understandably keen to play down expectations in the wake of past failures, victory over England will make it even harder to convince everyone they won't be heading to Cardiff on 21 March with at least a shot at the title.
There would still be the matter of a trip to Murrayfield to negotiate of course. The Irish did trip up in the Scottish capital in 2001, but have won there on each of their last three Six Nations visits.
Despite England's improved display in Cardiff, it will be a huge surprise if Martin Johnson's men emerge from Croke Park as winners.
Two years ago at the same venue, Brian Ashton's team conceded a record number of points by an English team in championship history, obliterated 43-13 by an Irish side desperate to make up for fluffing their lines on opening-night at their new home against France.
A similarly one-sided affair seems unlikely, but Ireland have already collected eight tries from their first two Six Nations games and have a spring in their step.
While seven of their starting side are 50-plus Test veterans, with two more on the bench, an infusion of youth and a more flexible game-plan has given the Irish fresh impetus under new coach Declan Kidney.
The likes of Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe, Luke Fitzgerald, Stephen Ferris and Jamie Heaslip are not only establishing themselves as Test match animals; they have also announced themselves as Lions contenders.
Indeed, if they, or England's aspiring tourists, need any more motivation, Saturday's set-to in Dublin is one of only four remaining opportunities for Lions head coach Ian McGeechan to see players in direct competition for places going head-to-head.
There is still Scotland v Ireland in the penultimate round of matches, and England v Scotland and Wales v Ireland on the final day. But that is it, apart from the Heineken Cup quarter-finals on the second weekend of April, before McGeechan finalises his squad.
What better time then, if you are an Irish or English player, to put one over your opposite number and produce a performance that has "Lions tourist" stamped all over it?
Can Andrew Sheridan and Phil Vickery expose John Hayes and Marcus Horan at scrum-time, or will the much-maligned Irish props continue to defy predictions of weakness?
Can under-fire England captain Steve Borthwick and the spring-heeled Nick Kennedy make any impression on the potent Irish locking duo of Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan, two likely Lions tourists alongside Welsh giant Alun Wyn Jones?
In the back row, can Heaslip, Ferris and David Wallace maintain the dynamism that will be required on the hard grounds of South Africa, or will James Haskell and Joe Worsley man the barricades as effectively as they did against Wales?
More pertinently perhaps, three games that could conceivably yield a first Irish Grand Slam in 61 years, or merely a first Six Nations title.
Regardless of whether Wales do the business in Paris on Friday, Ireland are not short of incentives to beat England.
Could this be the year when the Celtic Tiger finally bares its teeth?