The RaboDirect Rebels may have waved goodbye to their home fans for the last time in 2012, but their job isn't done yet. The two-match tour of South Africa begins early on Sunday morning Australian time, with the Lions first to play hosts in Johannesburg.
Unfortunately the 25-player squad departed Melbourne without playmakers Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor, both of whom exacerbated niggling injuries during last week's 32-17 loss to the Reds.
But despite the setback, the Rebels will be determined to continue their wonderful progress this season and finish on a high. The team are still searching for their first overseas victory, and are also yet to beat a South African team, so there is a great opportunity for this group of players to make some history.
Sunday's match against the Lions arguably represents the best chance for the Rebels to change those records. Their hosts' luckless campaign has seen them lingering at the bottom of the Super Rugby table for the duration of this year's competition, with just two wins to their name from 14 matches.
That said, their recent form has been much improved. A 38-28 win against playoff contenders, the Sharks, just before the international break was followed by a tight game against the Rebels' next opponents, the Stormers.
The Lions were only behind 13-10 to the leaders of the South African conference last weekend, before two late tries sealed an uncomfortable 27-17 victory for the men from Cape Town.
A side lacking household names nevertheless holds plenty of threats for the Rebels - prop CJ van der Linde has 73 Springbok caps, and has plenty of eager, strong-running forwards behind him.
Elton Jantjies is a talented five-eighth who can jink, swerve and outsprint the best in the competition, as well as keeping sides honest with his goal-kicking. Centre Jaco Taute is the Lions' chief line breaker and joint top try scorer, and will no doubt make life very difficult for the Rebels.
Significant improvements in the 2012 season has seen the Rebels find fantastic home form, rattling the cages of the best sides in the competition in Melbourne.
To show everyone just how far they have come, however, the Rebels want to earn a scalp away from home. Faced with a fiercely proud team, along with a notoriously boisterous South African crowd, a win would certainly be an achievement to be proud of.