Two of their four defeats from 34 Tests since the 1999 World Cup were Grand Slam games - against Scotland and Ireland - yet they have also beaten super-powers like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France during that time.
The 2001 foot-and-mouth epidemic meant England's final championship encounter - against Ireland in Dublin - was delayed by six months.
When the fixture eventually took place England lost 20-14 even though they were still crowned Six Nations champions.
"When we lost the game in Dublin 18 months ago my annoyance was based on frustration. I knew all week that our preparation wasn't what it should have been," said Woodward.
"I've already admitted I think I made some errors on selection and on preparation, so it was more the frustration of having six months between games and it all falling apart in one week.
"This time, it is totally different. I've said to everyone that there are no excuses this weekend. I am very happy with the way we've prepared, and we are just a lot more experienced on and off the pitch.
"We have all learnt the lessons - players and coaches - and we are a very experienced team now. I really do think that now is the time to deliver. That is why I see this weekend as a huge opportunity. "