Ollie Chessum has warned Fiji that they did not face the true England in their historic victory at Twickenham in August.
England’s build-up to the World Cup reached its lowest ebb when they lost to the Islanders for the first time in eight meetings, at the same time registering a fifth defeat in six Tests.
They have since regrouped by stitching together four wins to finish top of Pool D and their next obstacle is the rematch when the rivals clash in the quarter-finals in Marseille on Sunday.
“Fiji bring a lot of free-flowing rugby and a lot of offloading. They’re big, powerful men that come off the back fence and they’re a physical team,” Leicester lock Chessum said.
“They picked us apart, really, at Twickenham. We weren’t really ourselves – we weren’t anywhere near good enough.
“A few weeks have gone by since then and we’ve learned from our mistakes. We feel like we’ve been building nicely. We know what to expect from Fiji.”
England’s preparations for the last-eight showdown begin in earnest on Tuesday and they are in the enviable position of operating with a clean bill of health.
Sam Underhill has joined up with the squad after Jack Willis was ruled out of the tournament by a neck injury and the Bath flanker is in contention for a place in the matchday 23 named by Steve Borthwick on Friday.
The prize on offer is a semi-final against France or South Africa and defence coach Kevin Sinfield has urged England’s players to seize the moment.
“I think these are the best weeks. There’s certainly an added pressure. If you don’t get it right you are going home,” rugby league great Sinfield said.
“I know everyone has missed home throughout this period but when you get to this point you are not ready for the competition to finish.
“You want to squeeze as much as you can out of it and you want to be in it for as long as you can. We look forward to the game.
“We understand the consequences of getting it right and we also understand the consequences of getting it wrong, so we will be doing everything we can to make sure we get it right.”