Bristol Rugby Head Coach Richard Hill knows full well that Sunday's Heineken Cup opener against Cardiff Blues will provide a real test for his team.
Hill leads Bristol into action in Europe's premier club tournament for the first team since the 2002-3 season and appreciates that his team will have to be prepared to rise to the occasion.
"Cardiff is a tough place to win and, although none of us have vast experience of the Heineken Cup, people tell us anecdotally that you have to try and win your home matches and then scrap for what you can in your away games."
"With all their World Cup players, they have a pretty star studded team so we'll have to fight hard to get something out of it but it's not beyond the realms of possibility. We're all excited and the motivation is high. We've started to play a little better recently so you never know."
"We're taking the Guinness Premiership and the Heineken Cup very seriously. The Guinness Premiership continues for 9 months and has to be your number one priority. But the Heineken Cup, particularly the first two rounds, will be equally important."
"Training has been great. We're going to pick our strongest possible side with a strong bench and we'll be going absolutely full on."
"What happens in these first two rounds will be quite critical in terms of how we treat the competition later on. If we get something down in Cardiff and perhaps catch Stade Francais on a bad day at the Memorial Ground with all those Bristolians screaming at the French, the next two rounds against Harlequins become very important."
"If it doesn't go so well and we lose both and have no chance of going through as top of the group then you have to say that the importance of that competition begins to slide below that of the Guinness Premiership. But, at the moment, it's number one."
"The competition has really grown over the past few years and this is the one that the rest of the world looks to. People around the globe keep an eye on it and it's attracting huge sponsorship and fan support. Teams have to play in bigger stadiums just to accommodate the crowd."
"It will put Bristol on the European map, if not the World map, if the club does well. We've established a good reputation in England in recent seasons, this gives us a chance to show what Bristol can do on a European stage and beyond. It's a proud moment for the club but the pressure is there to do the club justice."
"It's a step up and the international players in the squad will cope with the step up in intensity. This is different to the Guinness Premiership. You could play Cardiff in a normal game and there wouldn't be too much difference but, when you factor in the Heineken Cup, it becomes serious stuff."
"The tackles get harder, the players run faster, the work rate is higher, the crowds are more intense. The whole atmosphere becomes electric and a difficult environment to play in."
"Most of our probable three quarters for Sunday won't have played in the Heineken Cup. They've grown used to Guinness Premiership rugby but we don't know yet how they'll cope in the Heineken Cup atmosphere."
"But it does give you a tingle of excitement and I'll know a lot more about the players after Sunday."