Yet perhaps above all, this is the moment that Farrell, the England captain, needs to deliver for his coach. Farrell, who sets the tone for the squad, has been out of sorts during this campaign.
“Obviously there was a disappointment from the first game, a massive disappointment from the first game and obviously there was an improvement into the second one,” said Farrell. “We want to bring the best of ourselves.”
England’s shift in mindset has been significant, according to May.
“We took a big step forward against Italy,” he said. “I know everybody was ‘OK, it’s Italy, they’re going to win’. Of course it wasn’t perfect, but there was a shift. Maybe you couldn’t see it, I certainly felt it, and saw it out there.
“There was a shift in terms of the way we wanted to go about our game, and the way we wanted to attack and have a mindset to go at them, which probably has been creeping up on us because, if we are honest, we have been working hard on our attack, we have, and it wasn’t quite right in the autumn but when you’ve got a very dominant set-piece and a brilliant defence, you can get away with winning games and it sort of got brushed under the carpet.”
Encouragingly, it seems everything is now on the table.
There were signs that England had made improvements to their attacking game against Italy following the return of George Ford to fly-half, with Farrell resuming his midfield combination with Henry Slade.
And yet England’s backline know the Wales defence will pose far more questions than a youthful Italy side were able to muster.
There may be no supporters in Cardiff on Saturday, but familiar tensions are mounting nonetheless.
“You get to the third game of the series and for most teams it’s a make-or-break game and I think both teams face similar pressure,” admitted Jones.
Having already lost to Scotland at Twickenham, England cannot afford another defeat. As they acknowledge themselves, it is time to deliver.