Luke Fitzgerald turned his attention to toppling England at Croke Park after spearheading Ireland's RBS 6 Nations victory over Italy.
Fitzgerald improved his chances of making the Lions tour to South Africa by plundering two tries in Sunday’s 38-9 triumph at the Stadio Flaminio.
England’s visit to Dublin a week on Saturday had been viewed as a formality for an Ireland team intent on winning the nation’s first championship since 1985.
But a valiant defeat to Wales in Cardiff has hinted at a possible English revival and Fitzgerald expects Ireland’s Grand Slam credentials to be thoroughly tested.
“England are always hard to play against and they’ve been getting a bit of stick from their own media at home,” he said.
“But I can see from the bits and bobs I saw on Saturday against Wales that they look to be really imposing and a really tough team to break down.
“England are very well organised and they mix that with some fantastic finishers.
“They have some good wingers in Paul Sackey and Mark Cueto out wide so they have a good blend and will be really tough to beat.
“I thought they were unlucky in patches against Wales. If one or two things had gone their way then they may have come away with a win.”
Fitzgerald marked his ninth cap with his first tries for Ireland, the first of which was scored on the stroke of half-time in a bitter blow for Italy.
The Azzurri dominated the opening half-hour but their only reward was three Luke McLean penalties, while Tommy Bowe crossed to help Ireland to a 14-9 interval lead.
The second half was dominated by the visitors, who raced out of sight with David Wallace, Brian O’Driscoll and Luke Fitzgerald breaching Italy’s increasingly ragged defence.
“It’s always nice to get on the scoreline but the bigger picture is the team and the way we performed,” said Fitzgerald.
“Overall it was a good trip to Rome. Italy are a very imposing team and a really tough unit to break down.
“They showed that last week against England, though they let themselves down by making too many errors.
“We knew they were going to be physical, so we had to contest the breakdown.
“You have to work really hard to beat a team like that and that’s how we played.
“Thankfully, we came out the right side. The Italians were very committed but we took our chances very well and that was testimony to us.”