Stuart Lancaster warned England will have to play to the very edge of their mental and physical limits if they are to win in Dublin on Sunday.
It is 10 years since England last tasted RBS 6 Nations success in Ireland and while that history will have little bearing on this match, there are key lessons for Lancaster to draw from an era of misery and frustration.
In 2009, England lost their discipline and Danny Care's late sin-binning for a petulant shove on Marcus Horan cost them any chance of a victory at Croke Park.
Two years ago, England were caught out by Ireland's intensity and their Grand Slam ambitions were destroyed by a humbling 24-8 defeat.
Lancaster has steeled England for another Irish onslaught and reminded them of the brutal lessons they learned on last summer's tour of South Africa.
The Springboks stormed into a 22-3 lead in the first 20 minutes of the Johannesburg Test and, although England fought back valiantly, the damage had been done.
Ireland did exactly the same to Wales last week, dominating the first half to secure them a victory at the Millennium Stadium.
Lancaster said: "What we can't afford is to be caught out.
"South Africa and the intensity of those first 20 minutes was a great learning experience. It prepares you for (Dublin) as best you can.
"You have got to hit the balance between being on the edge emotionally to match the Irish in those physical areas such as the breakdown and not so over that you become ill-disciplined and you lose sense of your game plan.
"That is the art of coaching - trying to get the players in a state of mind so they are at that tipping point so they can maintain it for 80 minutes.
"If you are not up for it enough, as you saw two years ago, it is all over. If you are too much up for it then, well then it's all over."
As expected, Lancaster made just one change to the side that beat Scotland 38-18 last weekend, with James Haskell starting at blindside flanker and Tom Wood shifting across to number eight in place of the injured Ben Morgan.
Lancaster resisted the temptation to start with Manu Tuilagi in midfield and has instead primed him to make a game-changing impact off the bench, a seat he will occupy for the first time in a Test match alongside the likes of Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes.
"I am sure Manu will be highly motivated," Lancaster said.
"He is not match fit yet and it became apparent to me the most effective way of using Manu would be off the bench and I'm sure he will come on and be a ball-carrier for us.
"And not just him. Look at the quality of the people on the bench.
"There is no doubt it will make a big difference. To have Manu, Dylan and Courtney is hopefully going to be a point of difference for us."
With Tuilagi benched, the direct challenge of facing down midfield magician Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy, the world's most experienced centre partnership, falls to Billy Twelvetrees and Brad Barritt.
Barritt is England's defensive leader and he will line up opposite O'Driscoll in the outside centre channel with Twelvetrees given the chance to continue after an eye-catching debut.
"O'Driscoll is undoubtedly a key player. The quality of his performance last week and what he brings to the Irish side is incredible really," Lancaster said.
"They have quality running throughout the spine of their team and O'Driscoll heads it."
Morgan and Tuilagi are England's most effective ball-carriers and their presence will be missed in Dublin but Haskell made a powerful impact off the bench last week and Twelvetrees impressed on debut.
"We didnt have Manu last week and we managed to get across the gain line okay," Lancaster said.
"I thought James Haskell did well and Tom Youngs and Brad Barritt got across the gain line. If you build your game around one or two players only who can carry the ball, you will be an easy team to defend against.
"Billy gave our attack a different dimension (against Scotland).
"When you have combinations training and playing together, with a good understanding of the plays and timing that goes with it, you sometimes have to reward the lads who have played well.
"Everyone has an understanding you have to earn the right to get in the team."
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.