England target Welsh ball carriers
Dylan Hartley has revealed that England are targeting Toby Faletau, Richard Hibbard and Jamie Roberts as the Wales talismen who must be stopped at Twickenham.
The RBS 6 Nations title rivals meet on Sunday in a clash that will see the winners contest the crown on the final day of the tournament on March 15.
Hartley believes the key to ending Welsh hopes of winning a unprecedented third successive Championship is stopping their ball-carrying standard bearers.
The Northampton hooker has identified back row Faletau, opposite number Hibbard and inside centre Roberts as the trio England will subject to big hits in an effort to sap Wales' morale.
"We obviously look at talismen in other teams, I prefer to call them targets. That's not a joke," he said.
"You respect them because they provide a lot of momentum, but if you make them a target, it changes that.
"In every team it's the number eight who is the big go-forward man - David Denton, Louis Picamoles, Jamie Heaslip and now Toby Faletau.
"If you see a big man being stopped, psychologically that's huge. I look at my opposite number Hibbard - he's very powerful for them.
"They like to put Roberts up the middle of the field then Hibbard round the corner on a big strong carry.
"It's nothing complicated but they do it very well. They're very powerful blokes.
"I don't think you focus on them - it's not mindless targeting - but if you get an opportunity you always take it."
Revisiting last year's record 30-3 rout in Cardiff has dominated the build up to England's penultimate match of the 2014 Six Nations.
With a Grand Slam at stake, they were put to the sword as Warren Gatland's champions retained their title in stunning fashion and went on to dominate selection for the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.
Only flanker Tom Wood has broken ranks to concede Sunday's Twickenham collision will be fueled by the desire to avenge a traumatic afternoon at the Millennium Stadium.
Wood's Northampton team-mate Hartley, however, believes England have already redeemed themselves and would rather focus on the renewal of a ferocious rivalry that began in 1881 and spans 124 games with the ledger tied at 56 wins apiece with 12 draws.
"This is being hyped up as an emotional revenge game, but as a team we haven't talked about that," Hartley said.
"That day in Cardiff was the complete, all-round poor performance and we haven't seen anything like it since.
"The lesson has been learned and we don't need to prove it against Wales because since then we have performed really well.
"In Cardiff we went down by a few scores and capitulated, but if you look at our subsequent games against New Zealand and France, we conceded a lot of points but then fought our way back into it. So the lesson has been learned.
"I'm very aware that there's a massive rivalry between England and Wales, and it's very historical. As a barometer this is a good game for us."
Hartley spent much of Monday watching documentaries on childhood hero Michael Jordan, admiring the "perseverance and pain" needed to become one of basketball's all-time greats.
For England forwards Graham Rowntree there is much to applaud in Hartley's own story as the repeatedly-banned 27-year-old continues to cement his world-class status.
Only last May his international future was shrouded in doubt after being sent off in the Aviva Premiership final for abusing referee Wayne Barnes, robbing him of his place on the Lions tour.
Warned by head coach Stuart Lancaster that his Test career would not survive another disciplinary implosion, he has responded by becoming arguably England's key forward.
"I'm proud of way he has bounced back. He's an important figure in this camp. He is showing great leadership," Rowntree said.
"I'm proud of the way he got over the summer, the way he has played since, the way he has led his club, how he is around our group and the humility he has shown.
"He has got over what happened. That's the big story out of this. He has got over it and he has grown and grown."