But the outcome of the opening leg at Dublin's Croke Park today - where the Scots won on their last visit - will have extra significance in one home in Wester Ross as three brothers, Finlay, Keith and John MacRae, line up in the visiting team.
The trio, all with the Orion Premiership club Kinlochshiel, started playing shinty at primary school and John, the youngest and a a former Scotland Under-21 captain, has graduated to the full squad for the first time this season.
The MacRaes will be united by more than blood this afternoon; they will all have a desire to bring to an end the Irish winning run in the series, which has held firm since 2008. "I don't think there was another sport that we were all going to take up," forward Keith said at Inverness Airport yesterday as the squad prepared to depart. "My mother had us playing shinty at primary school and taught us. We played a bit of football as well but shinty always came first.
"I still live in the local area, in Kyle [of Lochalsh], but Finlay and John are in Inverness now, so we see each other at the shinty and at family occasions. It is great to be involved in the squad together, and hopefully we can stop the Irish this year. Other than last year's match in Ennis, the games have been very close. If we could get the win, it would be great for Scotland but also for the series because we want the Irish to keep fielding quality players."
In terms of family dynasties, the MacRae brothers' feat is only surpassed by that of the Borthwick boys of Kingussie. Brothers Ali, Ian, Steven and David all played in the same Scotland side at Croke Park.
According to the eldest MacRae, Finlay, the honour of playing together is not only a fillip for the family, it also shows Kinlochshiel in a good light. "We are having good times at the club just now," he said. "This is only our third year in the Premiership so it is good coverage for the team to have three players in the national side.
"Our parents are travelling over to Ireland - they follow us wherever we play - and there will be people watching at home as well. I am sure they will be quite proud.
"We have a lot of new players in the squad. Fraser and Glen MacKintosh of Newtonmore play in the most successful forward line in shinty and we have experienced guys like James Hutchison and Lee Bain of Kingussie."
For the youngest MacRae, John, the step up to senior level as he has already amassed considerable Premiership experience.
"God knows what it will feel like to walk out there in front of the Irish fans," he said. "I watched the senior match in 2010 [at Croke Park] after playing in the under-21 game and it was amazing. There aren't even many football stadiums as good."