4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
It doesn't feel like all that long ago since Ireland and Wales met in the Rugby World Cup. Neither side were happy with the manner of their exits from the tournament.
But the short-term disappointment was somewhat eased by the over-riding sense that both teams are making progress and the future looks bright.
The first part of that future is the RBS 6 Nations Championship and one of the most evenly-matched and exciting of all the rivalries.
Whether in Dublin, Cardiff or other far flung parts of the world, it's a tie renowned for producing exciting rugby and dramatic finishes.
Since 1990, it's a rivalry in which Ireland have had the upper hand. The sides have met 25 times since then with Ireland claiming victory on 16 occasions, Wales managing it eight times and the spoils being shared once.
Those statistics would support an Ireland win and Paddy Power, official bookmaker to the IRFU, has chalked that up as a 4/9 chance.
The handicap is tantalisingly poised at Ireland -5 points at 10/11, but Wales will be as dogged and dangerous as ever.
Interestingly, in the last 25 games between the two countries there has rarely been more than a score separating the sides at the final whistle. In 16 of those 25 games, a converted try or less has been the difference between the two sides.
With one or two notable exceptions, close games are the norm and we can expect more of the same at the Aviva Stadium this Sunday.
That would point us in the direction of a couple of options in the Winning Margins betting. Ireland to win by 1-5 points is a 4/1 chance as is the option of Ireland to win by 6-10 points, and those two options can be rolled into one by taking Ireland to win by 1-10 points @ 13/8 in the Alternative Winning Margin betting.
The tries have normally flowed when these sides do battle and there's a lot of interesting possibilities in the try scorer markets.
Keith Earls is set to take on the responsibility of the number 13 shirt and his jinking footwork could be crucial in unlocking the Welsh defence.
He was Ireland's top try scorer at the World Cup and his try against Wales in that quarter-final took him to three tries in three outings against the Welshmen. He's 10/1 to score the first try of the match and a tempting 11/4 to score a try at any time during the match.