Skipper Clarke and his team are in Cardiff ahead of the defence of the trophy they won in South Africa in 2009. It also marks the start of their tour of the United Kingdom, the centrepiece of which will be their attempt to regain the urn, having lost the last two five-Test rubbers against their fiercest rivals.
"It's a very important game because it's the first game of this tournament for us," he said. "But I don't think we as a team are focused on the Ashes at all at this stage."
He added: "No doubt there's a lot of build-up in regards to media and the public back home. I'm sure it's the same here in England. I certainly have no problems in speaking about it and hearing about the Ashes because it's a fantastic series that every Australian cricketer looks forward to.
"But, in regards to this tournament, as a team I don't think we are focused on stamping our mark against England.
"We might be focused on stamping our mark against England for the rest of this tournament, but that's got nothing to do with the Ashes."
Clarke also played down any fears England would be better prepared for the Ashes, thanks to getting two home Tests under their belt in their series win over New Zealand.
"I think if we win the Champions Trophy it'll be more than enough (experience of English conditions)," said Clarke. "That's the best preparation possible. Like I say, my focus is having success in this tournament right now. I'm not too concerned about the Ashes right now."
Australia arrive in Britain just a couple of months on from a nightmare tour of India. The Test series was lost 4-0, while Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Johnson and James Pattinson sat out the third Test in Mohali after failing to provide coach Mickey Arthur with a requested report on the team's struggles during the series.
"I certainly don't want to look back (at the tour)," said Clarke. "I think I've had enough time over the past eight weeks to look back. It's about looking forward. We're here for a completely different tour, obviously a one-day tournament as opposed to Test matches that we just played in India. This group is very focused on what's in front of us."
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