Six Nations games against England are normally the most eagerly anticipated and hyped matches on the European rugby calendar but Simon Zebo says Ireland are content in their “own little bubble” ahead of Sunday’s showdown.

With both sides entering the Lansdowne Road clash (3pm, live on RTÉ 2) with two wins behind them there has been some talk, of a ‘Grand Slam decider'.

While they can’t control outside forces, the two teams have enough experience not to take the remaining games against Wales (v Ireland), Scotland (v Ireland and England) and France (v England), where they have been burned before, for granted.

Conceding that something will stir the blood as kick-off draws closer, Zebo says their methodical preparation protects the squad from the full force of the hype that naturally comes when battle lines are drawn between the two nations.

“We are kind of confined and in our own little bubble, just training away, doing our weights and preparing accordingly,” the Munster winger, who is enjoying a run in the team having not featured during last season’s championship win, told RTÉ Sport.

“I'm sure when we get closer to the game and closer to the city, it might have a little bit of an effect and we can see the atmosphere around the place. Preparation has been going good and we’re nicely tucked away [at Carton House], training and getting prepared.

“I suppose it's another massive game but as a squad I think we just need to focus on the game itself and not get carried away with the other aspects that might come along with the England game.

“No doubt the fans will hype it up as much as possible and get behind us and we just have to put in that big performance if we are going to get a win.”

“I suppose it's another massive game but as a squad I think we just need to focus on the game itself"

Ireland lost to England at Twickenham last year but claimed the title on points difference. This fact may provide another incentive to Stuart Lancaster’s side but Zebo knows the strength in depth of the visitors, as made evident when a severely depleted XV beat Wales on the opening night, is the biggest threat.

“England are a top quality side,” said the 24-year-old.

“They are one of the best sides in the world so we know we are going to have to make sure that accuracy is there at the weekend and we can't afford some of the mistakes we made in the earlier two games.

“Their squad has threats everywhere, from 1-23. We know we are going to have to front up and start from minute one and get as much momentum as we can from the game.

“It's going to be a physical encounter, no doubt. Out wide they have threats from everywhere. We are going to have to be on top of our game from 1-23 and get that momentum early on.”

Having been the man in possession of the shirt in 2013, Zebo fell down in the pecking order last season, with Andrew Trimble, Dave Kearney and Fergus McFadden all preferred in Joe Schmidt’s first year in charge.

That experience has made him value his position even more.

“It's a massive privilege and you can see the pride in the spectators,” he added.

“They would give an arm and a leg to be out there. The tradition that is in the jersey, the past players that have worn it, there is so much that goes into wearing that shirt.

“If you are lucky enough to go out and get a chance to wear it then you know what it entails and you know how well you have to perform to keep it.”