Ireland flanker Simon Easterby is eager to face the All Blacks after returning from the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand with renewed confidence.
Easterby, omitted from the initial Lions touring party, was called up as an injury replacement for Lawrence Dallaglio and went on to become one of the stars of the tour.
The Llanelli back row played in the final two Tests and although he was unable to prevent the Lions from a series whitewash, he did enough to enhance his own reputation.
"There is a lot of competition in the Irish back row but I believe I'm playing better than ever this season,' he said.
"The Lions tour gave me a lot of confidence. It proved I have the ability to play alongside the best in Ireland and Britain.
"Although we didn't win the Test series we competed quite well in the back row in the second and third Tests. I've brought some of that form back to my club game."
The Lions' defeats indicated the enormity of the challenge facing the home nations this month, with New Zealand embarking on a Grand Slam tour which started in the perfect manner at the Millennium Stadium.
The All Blacks dispatched Wales 41-3 with a display that has further lengthened the odds on Ireland claiming a shock victory in Dublin.
But where the Lions and Wales have failed, Ireland are determined to succeed, with Easterby warning New Zealand they will be met head-on when they run out at Lansdowne Road.
"The Lions are great, a fantastic entity, but it's different when you play with your countrymen," he said.
"There's a different atmosphere and feeling. It's hard to merge four countries and create the same togetherness.
"We knew the All Blacks would be impressive against Wales and they were, but Wales were down on numbers because of injury. We saw areas we feel we can exploit on Saturday.
"We're all delighted to be selected and will give the All Blacks a warm welcome."
With preferred options Brian O'Driscoll and Paul O'Connell injured, Easterby has been asked to lead the welcome party as Ireland chase their first victory over New Zealand.
The 30-year-old, who is also skipper at Llanelli, is one of the quieter members of the squad but insists his efforts on the pitch will do the talking.
"The captaincy is a huge honour. It's not something I've looked to do, it's a job that's offered to you," he added.
"(Ireland coach) Eddie O'Sullivan obviously thinks that with Brian and Paul injured I can do a job. I see it as a short-term thing.
"It's been strange me captaining a Welsh side. I don't think there has been an Irishman who has captained a top Welsh club before, certainly not Llanelli anyway. That was nice. I enjoy it when I'm captain and hopefully I can lead by example.
"There is enough experience in this Irish team anyway. There will be other decision makers out there on Saturday like Ronan O'Gara and Peter Stringer. They will help me with the job."