On the back of the victory against South Africa, former Ireland star Shane Horgan believes that the current squad can deal with the heightened expectancy ahead of their date with Australia at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow (Live RTÉ2, 4.30pm).

Not since 2006 have the Irish completed a clean sweep in the autumn Tests. The nature of their win over the Springboks and the expected success over Georgia has many fans believing that the eight-year wait can be ended.

For Horgan, Ireland, under Joe Schmidt, are now at the point where the bar has risen appreciably as to what they can achieve.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: "In the early noughties Ireland weren't expected to win many games. They didn't win many games. That is something that now has changed.

"There is an expectation now for Irish rugby players to achieve more than they had before, whether that's in the Heineken Cup or in the Rugby Championship as it is now, or the Six Nations.

"On the whole, this Irish team have stood up to that level of expectancy. If you want to be successful, you can't always be underdogs."

The former Irish winger also made reference to last season's RBS 6 Nations victory.

"There was huge a mount of pressure going into the last game against France and Ireland dealt with it admirably and came out as champions," he added.

"As a result they have a gone into this Autumn Series with higher expectations. Supporters now expect the team to achieve and win big games.

"Other teams know they have a good coach. Michael Cheika knows that Joe Schmidt has achieved a lot of things with Leinster in his time there and already in his short time with Ireland." 

As to what will unfold at the Aviva on Saturday evening, Horgan, unsurprisingly, expects a tight contest but feels the Aussies will just about shade it.

"Australia will be a different challenge compared to what South Africa offered," is his initial summation.

"The Australian pack aren't as big or maybe as aggressive as the South Africans. Ireland dealt with everything the Springboks threw at them and gave them back some.They were never at any stage overpowered in that game."

"The Australians aren't as big but are more sophisticated [than South Africa] in the way they play the game" - Shane Horgan

"Ireland implemented a 'chop tackle' which saw them tackle very low and bring the South Africans to the ground very quickly.

"The Australians aren't as big but are more sophisticated in the way they play the game. They are able to handle the ball a bit better and will look to offload the ball a bit more. 

"Michael Cheika is coming over here. He's very well loved, idolised even, in Dublin and in Leinster. He created a huge change in Leinster

"He won't want to lose. 

"Joe Schmidt is a man who won't accept defeat either. It really depends on whether Australia's star performers are allowed to play. Indeed, the same can be said of Ireland's key players.

"I'm just edging towards Australia. They have a few more gamebreakers."