And Gatland outlined his hopes for the opening fixtures but warned his side are under no illusions of the task that faces them in their first trip to the Aviva Stadium.
"The first game against Ireland is huge for us," said Gatland.
"We are under no illusions how difficult the game is going to be and the Irish provinces have been going fantastically well especially in Europe.
"Ireland will be looking for a bit of payback after the World Cup and we know its going to be difficult out there and its going to be a big game over at the Aviva Stadium.
"We are excited about it and if we play well and put a performance in it sets us up nicely with the home fixtures.
"It would be nice to think going into the last game against France we will have everything to play for, but we are taking it one game at a time.
"We have spoken as a squad about not looking past Ireland, we want to get that right.
"Its important for us to continue the momentum we have built and we want to kick on from what we have started and created.
"We are hugely excited - this is a really special tournament."