Joe Marler is ready to tackle Ireland's "pastry chef" prop Mike Ross having shaved off the beard that drew criticism from former England coach Sir Clive Woodward.
Marler sported a bushy beard in England's 38-18 victory over Scotland, having initially told his partner on New Year's Eve that he would grow one for 88 days.
Woodward scalded Marler for his hirsute look, saying: "You do not see Olympic 100 metres runners or Tour de France cyclists with beards.
"Rugby at the top level is a fast, athletic, power game. The same rules apply."
Marler has responded by trimming the beard to stubble – but he laughed off the idea he would suddenly be too quick for Ireland to handle in Sunday's game.
"I haven't got a beard any more and have a bit of stubble because it apparently makes you go faster," Marler said.
"So, we will see on Sunday whether I will be skinning Brian O'Driscoll on the outside. It's unlikely. Clive is entitled to his opinion. If I am scoring a try from 50 metres out and skinning everyone, maybe he has got a point!"
Harlequins star Marler has always caught the headlines for his appearance, having sported a multi-coloured Mohican hair-cut before deciding to grow his beard.
But he would much rather be known for his rugby.
Ross was nick-named the pastry chef by Nick Easter, although the hierarchy at Harlequins meant Marler never deigned to call him that.
"I know he's turned into a pretty reliable and tough scrummager for Ireland through playing week-in, week-out for Leinster," Marler said.
"It will be a really big test. There are a lot of tight-heads out there who are pretty wide. He's no different."