Mefin Davies has no doubt about the magnitude of Wales' task against Tri-Nations champions New Zealand on Saturday, admitting: "We are straight in at the deep end."
There will be no gentle warm-up for the Six Nations title holders as they prepare to take on world rugby's top team.
And there promises to be no respite after the All Blacks have left town, with South Africa and Australia also on a punishing autumn agenda for Davies and company.
"It is going to be difficult, no doubt about it," said Davies. "We are straight in at the deep end."
Wales last beat the All Blacks in 1953, and their hopes have been rocked this time around through injuries to British & Irish Lions quartet Gavin Henson, Tom Shanklin, Gethin Jenkins and Ryan Jones.
Newport Gwent Dragons back Hal Luscombe is also a confirmed non-starter, and Lions scrum-half Dwayne Peel is battling to overcome an ankle problem.
Flanker Martyn Williams is also unlikely to be available following the death of his mother.
Gloucester hooker Davies though, is relishing the challenge as he prepares for Bonfire Night fireworks against an All Blacks outfit targeting its first successful Grand Slam tour of Great Britain and Ireland since 1978.
"It is not the [Six Nations] Grand Slam team, but if you look back to the start of last season's Six Nations, a few injuries happened then, and new opportunities surfaced for players," he added.