Jason Robinson has refuted any suggestion that world champions England might be a team in decline.
Robinson and company are reeling from Saturday's 11-9 RBS 6 Nations Championship defeat against Wales in Cardiff - a setback which saw English Grand Slam hopes collapse at the first hurdle.
Counting England's reversal against France in the final game of last season's tournament, the World Cup-holders now find themselves striving to avoid a third successive championship defeat - something which has not happened since 1987.
England coach Andy Robinson has changed a third of the team on duty in Wales, and the Twickenham full-house will not accept a performance which dips below normal standards.
''We are certainly not on the decline,'' said full-back Robinson, who once again leads England in the absence of the injured Jonny Wilkinson.
''You lose one game, and it doesn't make you a bad team - in the same way as winning one game doesn't make you a good team.
''Last weekend, we should have won the game; no doubt about it.
''If we can under-perform and lose by only two points then I am sure if we play well this week we will get the win we need.
''I have no doubt in the players we've got. I still believe, even though it is a re-building period, that we have got the team to go out and beat anyone on our day,'' he added.
''We proved that in the autumn - when we put in some excellent performances - and now we just need to build on that.
''It was a disappointing start against Wales, and we might be down on that. But we are certainly not out. We will come out fighting this week.''
There is a fierce determination among the England players to bounce back from the Millennium Stadium defeat.
''Defensively, we were fine against Wales. But we didn't ask any questions of them; we didn't move them about and we didn't threaten them at all,'' said Robinson.
''When we got out there we didn't produce. It was an on-the-day thing. Sometimes you have got to accept defeat and take it on the chin. This week, it is all about getting our game right.''
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.