Wales’ Guinness Six Nations title hopes effectively disappeared on the back of successive losses to Ireland and France.
They have not suffered three defeats on the bounce in one Six Nations campaign since 2007, while it is eight years since they claimed an away win against England in the tournament.
It promises to be the toughest assignment of Wales’ Six Nations campaign so far, but head coach Pivac is relishing the challenge on Saturday.
“You’ve only got to listen to (Wales captain) Alun Wyn (Jones) during the week,” Pivac said.
“The intensity is there in his voice and everything he’s done in training. He has led from the front.
“The level of intensity has noticeably gone up in training, certainly in the live stuff, and it has been no holds barred.
“No one has been holding back. That tells me a big performance is coming.
“Clearly, they (England) have got a great record there – one we respect and one which tells us we will have to be at the peak of our powers and play well to win.
“With my background coming from New Zealand, we look at England like the Welsh do.
“They are a strong team, one of the world leaders and a very capable team, as we saw at the World Cup against the All Blacks and last week against Ireland.
“They put away two of the top teams in the world comfortably. There is a healthy respect, but it’s a game we are looking forward to – me included.”
Navidi’s selection ahead of 75 times-capped Taulupe Faletau is particularly eye-catching, with the Cardiff Blues player having recovered from a hamstring injury to make a first competitive appearance since mid-January.
Pivac added: “Josh Navidi is a fantastic player over the ball. The breakdown work that he does, his defensive work and ball-carrying.
“When he played for Wales against New Zealand (in 2017), Steve Hansen (then All Blacks coach) asked who he was because he was so impressed with him.
“He is a tough character and is someone that puts a lot of pressure on the opposition.
“If you look at the Six Nations match last year (against England), he played a massive role in that win for Wales and he plays well in big games.
“I touched on that All Blacks game a few years back. He has stood up and played in some very big matches for us, so we are confident he can do that again.”
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