Lewis Moody is adamant he will have "no qualms" about being pitched straight into England's World Cup opener against Argentina.
Injuries have meant England's squad captain has played just over an hour of Test rugby this year and the 33-year-old flank headed out to New Zealand on Monday still trying to regain full fitness following a recent knee problem.
That meant he missed England's two final warm-up matches, including last weekend's 20-9 win away to Ireland.
England begin their World Cup campaign against Argentina in Dunedin on September 10 and Moody - one of several survivors from the epic 2003 World Cup triumph - said he had "absolutely no qualms" about making his comeback in a match involving the physical Pumas.
"It has never fazed me coming back because you are conditioned so well so when you come back, it becomes the norm," said Moody, who started the 2007 World Cup with a calf problem.
"You have done it a million and one times in the past."
Moody's morale, and that of the whole squad, was buoyed by victory in Dublin which undid some of the damage caused by losing the second of two warm-up matches against Wales a fortnight earlier.
"Someone asked me last week if I was excited about the World Cup and I genuinely haven't been excited about it yet because there was such frustration from that loss against Wales," Moody said.
"Our focus was so much on Ireland and winning and putting everything into that I woke up this morning and thought, 'happy days'.
"I am genuinely now excited about getting on the plane and going to the World Cup."
England are bidding to reach a third successive World Cup final but face a tricky first obstacle in Argentina, who upset the odds to finish third in France four years ago.
"Our prospects are very good but as you well know World Cups are the toughest environments," Moody said.
"It is the biggest stage in the world and teams will want to come and show what they can do."
He added: "It is very sad and boring I know but it is the truth and as a player you focus your attention purely on Argentina from now on.
"They are a tough team -- they will demand the utmost respect from us and we have to be right on our game for that first challenge."
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