This time last year Ireland were going for a Grand Slam and gave off an air of invincibility. 

They had already claimed the championship by the time they arrived in Twickenham to face England but had nothing other than a clean sweep on their mind. 

On Saturday they face a Wales team on the verge of adding another Six Nations full house to the ones achieved in 2005, 2008 and 2012. 

The four victories so far, part of a 13-game winning run, must add to the belief that a boisterous home crowd will see them home against Joe Schmidt's charges. 

However, Johnny Sexton, who helped Ireland to halt both New Zealand and England's 18-game winning runs with shock victories in 2016 and 2017, knows all good things come to an end

"I don't know if Wales feel like they are invincible," the Ireland out-half told RTÉ Sport. 

"They're saying they have forgotten how to lose and all that.

"We've played well against teams that have been on runs before when you talk about England, New Zealand and stopping their runs.

"We'll give them the respect they absolutely deserve. We'll analyse them, we'll talk about where we can get at them, where they are very strong. They look pretty tough to break down."

Meanwhile, Stephen Ferris, who was on the Ireland team that beat Wales in the final match of the 2009 campaign to win the Grand Slam at the Millennium Stadium, says the sheer weight of what a victory would mean for the hosts can push them over the line. 

Speaking on the RTÉ Rugby podcast, Ferris said: "It’s just about putting in a performance, trying to get the victory for Ireland, trying to keep a bit of momentum going towards the World Cup warm-up games whereas for Wales, this is everything.

"They will do anything in their power to make sure they win this match and create more history in a Welsh jersey.

"Do they think they are unbeatable?

"Probably, the run they are on, the results they’ve had, why wouldn’t they? And that just breeds more and more confidence."

Ireland's win over France on Sunday showed the first glimpse this year of what the Irish public became used to seeing in 2018. 

However, Sexton, who scored his tenth international try against France, said: "Honestly, there was nothing majorly broken in the first few games.

"There was just some uncharacteristic errors from some individuals and some break downs in just a couple of things.

"That just adds up and if everyone makes a couple of mistakes then suddenly you have 30 errors and you are in a bit of trouble." 

Follow Wales v Ireland on Saturday (kick-off 2.45pm) via the live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the News Now App, or listen live on RTÉ 2fm, with commentary from Michael Corcoran and Donal Lenihan.