Ewen McKenzie's men exceeded expectation last time out as they lifted the southern hemisphere's greatest club prize with victory over perennial contenders the Canterbury Crusaders last July.
The Reds topped the table prior to the play-offs and then finished the job in some style just a fortnight before the Wallabies started their march towards a first Tri Nations triumph in a decade.
Superstar halfbacks Quade Cooper and Will Genia were at the forefront of their success, as were current Wallaby skipper James Horwill and veteran No8 Radike Samo.
But with Cooper sidelined for a sizeable chunk of the new campaign as a result of ACL damage and the element of surprise being replaced by a greater degree of expectation, critics are suggesting the Reds will struggle in 2012.
Among those questioning the Reds' abilities to come close to retaining their title are bitter rivals the Waratahs, another of the Lions' opponents on next year's eagerly anticipated tour.
Former Wallaby star and now Waratahs kicking coach Matt Burke publicly stated that the Reds would fall short this time around, a remark that has brought a strong response from Reds scrum-half Genia.
"They have obviously fired off the first shot by saying we will have second-year syndrome," said Genia, who was quick to point out the Waratahs failings in the competition as the two sides prepare to go head-to-head in the opening round of Super 15 action this Saturday.
"The Brumbies are the only other (Australian) side to have won a title so it's better to be a one-year wonder than a no-year wonder.
"We are so young and we're not like older players who have won a title and we'll rest our careers on that.
"We're still full of motivation and still want to play well and do well for Queensland."
And that attitude has been echoed by Genia's Reds team-mate Beau Robinson, with the impressive flanker convinced that last season's champs won't be this year's chumps.
"Why not? That's the question that I pose to people. Why wouldn't it be?" was Robinson's response when asked if 2012 could be as successful as 2011.
"The blokes here are better, fitter, stronger and faster so motivation would be the only thing that would be stopping us."