England captain Martin Corry has issued a warning to Grand Slam champions Wales ahead of Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash: We are coming after your title.
England have not won the championship since 2003 and had the stuffing knocked out of them in the opening match last year, when Wales snatched an 11-9 victory in Cardiff and stormed on to win the Grand Slam.
Saturday's showdown at Twickenham promises to be just as pivotal and Corry has outlined to his men the importance of making a ferocious start.
"Winning the championship is what we are setting out to do and we are playing Wales first up, which is great because they have got something we want," said Corry.
"The first game of any championship is just massive, not only to win the competition but also for your own confidence.
"If you get off to a good start then things take shape. If you don't, then you are battling everything.
"We haven't played together for a while and it is important we don't give ourselves an excuse and we really look to hit our straps in the first game.
"Wales is a huge challenge for us and if we look elsewhere we will lose momentum for what is round the corner.
"But if we lose on Saturday then the Grand Slam is out the window."
England stuttered badly after losing to Wales a year ago and went on to lose three on the trot before finishing the championship in fourth place, their worst placing yet in the Six Nations.
But Corry and head coach Andy Robinson oversaw a turnaround in fortunes in the autumn. England overpowered Australia and then came agonisingly close to picking off New Zealand, before eventually going down 23-19.
England were criticised by some for a lack of invention - a quality Wales enjoy in abundance - but for Corry those performances show the bar has been raised significantly from last year's RBS 6 Nations.
"We have been working hard on our game and it would be great if we could do a few things that surprise them," said Corry.
"The important thing now is we use the autumn performances as our minimum standard. There were some positives from the autumn but also some failings and we have to work on those.
"We have got to get the result, but we have got to up our performance as well. We would like to have both - but if it is one or the other, I'd rather have the win."
England's preparations for the Autumn International series were potentially dealt a further blow as Maro Itoje was forced to undergo an x-ray after Saracens' European victory over Scarlets on Saturday night.