Tom Wood believes that victory in Ireland shows that this England side have the potential to scale new heights, starting with a Grand Slam.
Head coach Stuart Lancaster will link up with his side again today for a three-day training camp at the national football centre at St George’s Park. Wood, the Northampton back-row forward, believes that staying grounded will be key to their future success.
“I don’t think there’s any limits to what we can achieve,” Wood said in the wake of the 12-6 victory against Ireland in Dublin that put England on course for a possible Six Nations Grand Slam.
“We have to keep focusing on the next job and stay very grounded. All our victories so far have been built on our intensity and hard work.
"They are not built on individual flair or individual talent, they are built on togetherness and the culture that underpins that. The moment we forget that and get ahead of ourselves we are in trouble.”
England are in good shape as they gather to prepare to face France at Twickenham a week on Saturday. They are the only unbeaten side in the championship and with a home game to follow against Italy they could head to play Wales in Cardiff for their final game with their first Grand Slam in a decade in sight.
Is a Slam possible? “I like to think so,” Wood said. “If we get things right, we’re going to be a very difficult side to beat because we are hard to break down.
"We cover for each other – if someone makes a mistake we work hard to fill those holes.
"We have to count on that being a given from now on and it will serve us well. France, though, will be hurting after recent weeks.”
They may well be but they are also something of a rabble, jeered to the rafters at the Stade de France on Saturday evening after being beaten by Wales.
It is the first time in 31 years that they have lost their opening two matches of the championship.
England, by contrast, have won their past three games, seeing off the world champions and accounting for one of the tournament favourites away from home in the process.
Ben Morgan, the No8, is still having treatment on the ankle he injured against Scotland and which forced him to miss the game against Ireland.
Wood switched across the back row to deputise for Morgan and England lacked for nothing in taking on a vaunted Irish trio.
Wood looked comfortable in the middle slot even though he has played little rugby there in the past few years.
“It doesn’t really matter what number you have on your back,” he said.
“We’re trying to get the form players on the field. We have fairly rounded footballers who can fit in.
"It’s our ferocity in the breakdown, our energy in defence, our willingness to work for each other that is making the difference and we need to keep remembering that.”
Eight players will be released back to their clubs for Aviva Premiership action this weekend: Leicester’s Toby Flood, Manu Tuilagi and Thomas Waldrom, Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes from Northampton, props Mako Vunipola of Saracens and Bath’s David Wilson as well as Harlequins scrum-half, Danny Care.
England, though, are mindful that back-to-back Test matches put an enormous strain on players.
They have no intention of reining back on their aggressive approach at the breakdown or on stepping in to help team-mates if there is any on-field trouble, as happened on several occasions on Sunday.
“You have to pull tight in a hostile environment like that and in conditions like that,” Wood said.
“You have to show you’re there and you’re not going away for 80 minutes. That’s what we tried to do.
"We weren’t looking for any off-the-ball stuff but when something flares up, as it often does in these games when there is so much at stake, you have to show that unity and make sure you are there for your mates.
"You can’t get away with anything these days punching wise – it’s just really a show of togetherness.”
The mantra for St George’s Park is clear – stay focused, stay grounded.
“If you get too far ahead of yourself, you take your eye off the ball,” Lancaster said.
“We won’t be getting carried away by anything. France will be hurting and they’ll be really fired up for this game. All things point to France and nothing else.”