Andy Robinson has hailed England's heroic performance against New Zealand as the 'benchmark' for his squadbuilding towards their 2007 World Cup defence.
The 23-19 defeat last week was undoubtedly England's best display since they were crowned world champions in Sydney two years ago.
The head coach believes it has set the tone before the final match of the autumn programme against Samoa at Twickenham on Saturday.
Robinson, who has made five changes, said: "Last Saturday was the benchmark of where we have got to perform.
"As long as we keep our performance at that level or above and we want to be above that, then we can move the side forward and make subtle changes along the way."
Robinson has sharpened a somewhat blunt attacking edge by recalling Wasps wing Tom Voyce and Gloucester's James Simpson-Daniel for their first starts since the dismal tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2004.
Simpson-Daniel wins his eighth cap but makes a first England start in the centre where he will partner clubmate Mike Tindall, with Voyce replacing Ben Cohen.
Elsewhere, scrum- half Harry Ellis gets his first chance of the season with Matt Dawson dropping down to the bench. There is also a first cap for Leicester lock Louis Deacon while Bath prop Matt Stevens takes over from Phil Vickery.
Robinson has uncapped players on the bench in Perpignan prop Perry Freshwater and highly-rated Leicester wing Tom Varndell.
He said: "I wanted to make subtle changes for this game, not wholesale changes.
"The core of the team is together but I wanted to bring in a number of players around that and see whether they can make the step up in terms of our intensity, the pace we are going to play at and our finishing ability.
"It is about looking at the depth of squad we have, and that is not to belittle Samoa, but it is about looking at the squad and assessing our options. We are at the start of our development as a squad." Simpson-Daniel made his Test debut three years ago but illness and injuries stalled his progress. England looked largely devoid of creativity and invention so a big performance from him could help convert another expected abundance of possession into tries.
Voyce, like Simpson-Daniel, is in outstanding club form and Robinson added: "If there is one player who I think has made huge strides since the 2004 tour it is Tom.
"He has been scoring some outstanding tries, and this is an opportunity for him, Simpson-Daniel and Harry Ellis in the backs."
Deacon broke into the England squad only this season and is certain to benefit from partnering Steve Borthwick.
Robinson said: "Steve Borthwick has done very well. He has really come to the fore and has certainly grown up on the international stage in the last two games. He has put down a marker in terms of his performances."
Robinson said Bath hooker Lee Mears would come off the replacements' bench but that he initially wanted to see Stevens packing down in the scrum alongside Andrew Sheridan and hooker Steve Thompson.