After comfortable wins over Italy and Scotland, the English returnto Twickenham for their first match since lifting the World Cup, andWoodward promised his remodelled side would be up for it. "Yes there is a bigger edge to this game," he said."Especially when you hear words coming across from Ireland like 'are England tough enoughfor this game?'
"That was quite a good media story coming over the Irish sea!We know that this is the biggest challenge since the World Cup final, Ireland area very strong side and we are playing our first competitive game atTwickenham so there is a bit of an edge.
"We have made a few changes, some forced some otherwise andthat always adds a bit of edge to the team. We are really looking forward to the game, the weatherforecast is good and like every game at Twickenham it is just going to be amagnificent occasion.
"We all get involved in this game as though this is going tobe our last game, that is the only way to approach it and there has been a real
England are bidding to make it 23 consecutive victories at theirstronghold and Woodward said he was expecting a spine-tingling atmosphere.
"There are two things, we haven't been back at Twickenham fornearly a year and it is the first time we have been back as world champions withour full strength side playing, so it is going to be a huge atmosphere and itis a real competitive game.
"This isn't a game that England expect to win by a hatful ofpoints, this is a real game that we are going into. We have the utmost respect forthe Irish team who with a little more composure would have beaten theAustralians in the World Cup but that is the difference between winning andlosing.
"It is going to be a great day and the players know that aswell.
"Motivation doesn't come into this game -- you almost have tocalm things down, keep people talking about the process, the performance and notabout the occasion."
Ireland meanwhile received an eve-of-match boost when flankerVictor Costello was cleared to play after shaking off an ankle injury.
AFP - 2004