The first game of the Five Nations rugby championship in 1995 was not a happy one for Ireland.
Sometimes it is less the number of games a sportsman plays than the heart and soul he pours into the jersey he wears.
English success in Europe has been a rare phenomenon in recent seasons but this year's Heineken Cup draw offers at least a glimmer of genuine hope.
Welcome to Gdansk, the port on Poland's Baltic coast and home of Solidarity, Lech Walesa and life with the windows wide open, even at -11C.
Munster's third Magners League trophy, secured in a terrific game in front of a full house in Limerick, brought to six the number of such titles that have landed on Irish soil.