This time two years ago, Northampton Saints were contemplating a season without European rugby.
Now 24 months on, Saints are preparing for one of their biggest challenges in recent years as they look forward to a Heineken Cup meeting with Irish giants Munster this weekend.
Relegation from England's top-flight in 2006/07 could have spelt the end for one of the country's best-supported clubs but they bizzarely benefited from the experience and bounced back in stunning fashion.
In their first season back in the Guinness Premiership, Saints finished a respectful 8th, while at the same time winning the Challenge Cup in some style to guarantee inclusion in this year's Heineken Cup. Now the East Midlands outfit are back among Europe's elite - a position from which they can dream about a repeat of their 2000 Heineken Cup success.
"For us coming out of National One and into the Challenge Cup last season was all about progression," explained Northampton captain Dylan Hartley.
"This year, we're in the Heineken Cup and there's no better stage to test yourself on.
"There's plenty of big teams and big players so we're really looking forward to it.
"But Munster in Northampton is all I'm looking forward to at the moment.
"We're playing at home and Franklin's Gardens is good to us. But Munster were semi-finalists last year and winners the year before so it'll be a massive challenge."
It's a challenge that everyone at the club is still smiling about. From the moment the draw was made earlier this summer, Saints have been beaming at the thought of kicking of their Heineken Cup return against one of Europe's most respected teams in front of a capacity crowd, knowing the eyes of the entire rugby-watching continent will be upon them.
Throw in games against Top 14 winners Perpignan and Super 10 Champions Treviso and you can understand why everyone at Saints is so excited.
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.