The "phoney war" of warm-up matches, as England manager Martin Johnson described it, is over and Lawes is desperate for a whiff of Rugby World Cup cordite.
The Pumas boast one of the most ferocious forward packs in the global game, led by the gnarled Clermont Auvergne hooker Mario Ledesma, who is entering his fourth World Cup.
England learned the brutal consequences of losing the physical battle in their defeats last season to South Africa and Ireland.
And Lawes, the Northampton lock who relishes that close-quarter combat, is ready to set the tone.
"I don't mind a scuffle every now and then. I just do it because I can and it gets under their skin," said Lawes.
"They're going to be big and they're going to be physical, that's what they pride themselves on, but physicality's part of my game as well.
"Argentina are ferocious and they will always fight back. You've got to put them down from the start of the game to the end of the game.
"They'll be full-on from the start and probably the whole game. We're going to match them and we're going to beat them. That's all there is to it. We have to.
"We know they are a big pack and they are going to be up for it but we're prepared for that. We're just as excited and ready to go as they are."
England tried to crank up the intensity in their three preparation Tests and with some success in Dublin - but Saturday's showdown in Dunedin will be a different beast altogether.
"This is it now, this is the real thing. The whole world is here. It is where you want to be," said Johnson.
England have picked a powerful pack with hooker Steve Thompson, veteran of the 2003 World Cup, joined in the front row by Andrew Sheridan and Dan Cole.
"It's Argentina and they pride themselves on that area of combat, so we know what to expect. They bring a lot of experience and passion to the game," said Cole, the Leicester tighthead.
"Nobody wants to give an inch, and we have to match that so we don't suffer the same way as the French (in the opening game) four years ago.
"They came unstuck and we don't want to do that.
"We can't let ourselves be bullied. We have to give as good as we get."
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