England captain Martin Corry believes his players must scale new heights if they want to tear up world rugby's form guide and topple New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday.
The All Blacks are halfway towards completing a successful Grand Slam tour having thrashed Wales and Ireland by 38-point margins.
Only England, or Scotland in Edinburgh next week, can now stop Graham Henry's men from emulating the 1978 All Blacks and achieving a clean sweep.
England may hold the World Cup but New Zealand are setting a blistering pace as rugby's premier team less than two years away from the next contest in France.
New Zealand's imperious form is such that England find themselves in the rare position of starting a Test match at Twickenham as underdogs.
And Corry, who boasts an unbeaten record as England skipper from three games in charge, knows the world champions face a mammoth task.
"This is the ultimate test," Corry said. "They are the best side in the world at the moment and it's going to be incredibly tough, but I certainly believe we have the side and the nous to be able to beat them.
"But it does mean that every player has to go out and play the best game they've ever played in an England shirt.
"New Zealand's form over the last 18 months or two years means they have warranted the tag of best side in the world. We aspire to that, and that is why we have got to take these challenges.
"We are going in as underdogs, but that is fine by us because we know where we are.
"We didn't have a great year last year and we know we have got a lot of hard work to do, but the only way you can become the best is by beating the best."
England got their autumn campaign off to a satisfactory start by defeating Australia far more comfortably last Saturday than the 26-16 scoreline suggests.
But Corry is under no illusions that England have got to step up their game, especially as New Zealand have won 13 of their last 14 Tests.
Their defence has also proved rock-solid against England, with the world champions failing to register a try during the last three meetings.
England though will take inspiration from South Africa's Tri-Nations victory over New Zealand in Cape Town three months ago.
"New Zealand are a great side. They pose problems all over the park, and if you look for weaknesses in their team, they haven't really got too many," Corry added.
"You have got to look at sides who've had success against them. South Africa won one and narrowly lost one against them this year, and the game they won they put New Zealand under intense pressure.
"If you are going to sit back and let New Zealand play, then they will play all day and tear you apart.
"They have got to be put under pressure, not just for little glimpses of play, but for the whole 80 minutes.
"That is what we have got to go out and try to do. New Zealand have got a very complete all-round game, they have taken off-loading in the contact area to another level, and they rely very heavily on that. It is all about the pressure game."
Several of the England players, Corry included, had a sobering first-hand taste of the All Blacks during the Lions tour earlier this year.
New Zealand's 3-0 Test series whitewash underlines
their rich qualities, and Corry is certainly relishing a possibility of turning the tables.
"It (the Lions) will be a motivation, but I think just from an individual point of view," he said.
"I don't think as a team we can take any motivation, but I know for me personally the last time I played New Zealand wasn't a great experience so I want to be able to put that right.
"It is England v New Zealand, not the Lions v New Zealand, and it should be left at that.
"This time last year everyone was saying South Africa were the best side in the world and we came out and beat them at Twickenham.
"I admit that since then we haven't played to what we are capable of, and we have got to put a string of results together like New Zealand have done."
England head coach Andy Robinson will name his starting line-up today with fly-half Charlie Hodgson expected to be fit after suffering a groin injury against the Wallabies.
If Hodgson does not make it, Bath's Olly Barkley will be favourite to take over the critical No 10 position.