As the dissection of World Cup squads looms closer and teams play their last games before the tournament, it's worth noting Ireland's production.
Since Joe Schmidt took over in 2013, they have moved from a global ranking of ninth to second on the World Rugby listings.
As teams in the Southern Hemisphere have reopened their mid-year test accounts and those north of the equator have shifted from conditioning camps into serious combat, Ireland are the only unbeaten side in the top group.
The All Blacks and Wallabies have lost to each other, the Boks fell over against the Pumas, England lost to France and Wales to the Irish.
Ireland are the Six Nations champions and a team with 18 victories from the 22 times that Schmidt has prepared them for international contests. They have played 11 nations and beaten everyone except the All Blacks, who triumphed 24-22 in injury time in 2013 with a converted try after Ireland had led 19-0 at one stage.
It's a damned fine record from another of the coaches the Blues let go, but let's not go there. Subsequently Schmidt graduated from coaching Clermont and Leinster to replace Declan Kidney in the Emerald Isle.
The former schoolteacher with the sporting talent to play NBL for Palmerston North and ITM Cup rugby for Manawatu before he stepped into coaching makes the complex simple for his players.
The core of his plans is the adherence to and conquering the basics. Once that's done and Schmidt is convinced that structure is utterly reliable, he introduces the intricate moves, the players' roles and projected opposition reactions.
You can imagine Schmidt in the sanctity of his Dublin study, much like one of those military or naval commanders with 30 stick figures on a playing field, altering their positions as he muses about actions and responses. The great strategist and planner will think and ponder and go through all the what-ifs.
Schmidt takes time with every player in his squad, whether he is a rookie or as senior as Paul O'Connell, to go through his ideas and their opinions before he gathers the collective group to drive his plans.
Those skills impressed former skipper Brian O'Driscoll so much he played on for another season, saying he had never seen a coach "with such a smart rugby brain".
Schmidt's teaching background, as for Wayne Smith, Stuart Lancaster and Warren Gatland, helps as he does hours of painstaking research before he takes his men through his clear, streamlined strategies.
He has staff deliver detailed data which Schmidt devours with his analytical rugby curiosity before giving his squad concise messages about his requirements.
Ninth to second-something's working well for Ireland and Schmidt.