As he plots a third straight Six Nations title, Eddie Jones refuses to believe that Ireland's national set-up gives them an advantage over his England team.
Jones is masterminding another Six Nations domination with his reigning champions installed as odds-on favourites to retain their crown.
Joe Schmidt's Irishmen are behind them in second.
England have compiled 22 wins from their 23 Tests under Jones, but it is Ireland who enter the tournament buoyed by the imminent qualification of three provinces for the knockout phase in the European Champions Cup.
That's in contrast with the troubled campaigns endured by Aviva Premiership teams in England.
Schmidt also has far greater control over his players, who are centrally contracted, while on English shores Jones is shackled by Twickenham's agreement with clubs.
"You can only put 15 players on the pitch and those 15 players have got to play with heart, passion and pride," Jones said.
"It doesn't matter what system you have, it's up to the quality of the players you put on the field. If I say, 'Yes, they've got an advantage', I'm saying we've got an excuse," he said.
"We don't have any excuses. We've got what we want; we've done well with that system; and we will continue to do well with it.
"It doesn't matter that English clubs aren't doing well in Europe because it doesn't affect Test form.
"There's a distinct difference between club rugby and international rugby.
"While you always like your players to win, if they're not successful at club level it doesn't mean that you can't be successful at international level."
Jones has named eight uncapped players in a 35-man squad that will travel to Portugal on Sunday for a week-long training camp.
England's first Six Nations match is against Italy on February 4.
Saracens wing Nathan Earle, Northampton centre Harry Mallinder and Harlequins full-back Marcus Smith are the rookie backs.
Exeter prop Alec Hepburn, Harlequins prop Lewis Boyce, Newcastle flanker Gary Graham, Bath back row Zach Mercer and Bath hooker Tom Dunn make up the new faces in the forwards.