After narrowly missing out on reaching the 2023 World Cup final, England will be determined to build on the positives from that major tournament in France as they prepare for the 2024 Six Nations.
Finishing down in fourth place in the standings with just two wins to their name last year in the Six Nations, there is certainly room for improvement, as the Red Rose look to narrow the gap on the likes of Ireland and France.
Ollie Chessum, Dan Cole, Alex Coles, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Chandler Cunningham-South, Ben Curry, Theo Dan, Alex Dombrandt, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George (capt), Joe Heyes, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Joe Marler, Beno Obano, Tom Pearson, Ethan Roots, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill.
Oscar Beard, Danny Care, Elliot Daly, Fraser Dingwall, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, George Ford, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank, Ollie Lawrence, Alex Mitchell, Tom Roebuck, Henry Slade, Fin Smith, Marcus Smith, Ben Spencer, Freddie Steward.
Getting set for his second Six Nations in the head coach hot seat at Twickenham, Steve Borthwick will certainly be looking for improvement after his first effort.
Previously an England assistant coach, Borthwick was brought in to replace Eddie Jones in December 2022, after helping Leicester Tigers win the Premiership Grand Final earlier that year.
After finishing fourth in his first Six Nations campaign, the pressure was on Borthwick from the off after losing their opening game against Scotland at Twickenham.
More promising signs from the World Cup campaign last year will have eased some of the pressure but the spotlight is still on the former Bath and Saracens second-rower.
Following Owen Farrell’s decision to step down from England duty ahead of the 2024 Six Nations, his Saracens team-mate Jamie George has been given the honour of captaining his country for the coming campaign.
George played a key role in helping England in the latter stages of the recent World Cup, playing the full 80 minutes in both the quarter-final and semi-final.
Clearly a player trusted by Borthwick, the hooker has a wealth of experience after earning 85 appearances for his country and playing for the British & Irish Lions on the last two tours of New Zealand and South Africa.
A player who will lead from the front and guide some of the fresh faces in the England squad, George is now a key figure in this side.
Impressive at the set-piece, the 33-year-old is also a tryscoring threat from lineouts deep in opposition territory.
With Courtney Lawes retiring and Billy Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler missing out on the squad, there is even more expected of world-class lock Maro Itoje in the pack.
A Test animal who thrives off the drama of the Six Nations, this Lions star can produce Man of the Match performances that can help new skipper George.
At the World Cup it was George Ford who nailed down the No.10 jersey and the Sale Sharks star is being tipped to keep his place for the start of the Six Nations.
Criticised in the past, Ford silenced plenty of his doubters with his performances in France, especially the pool win over Argentina in which England saw Tom Curry sent off in the first few minutes.
There will be those calling for Marcus Smith to start at fly-half, but Ford’s experience and calmness is just what a new-look England side will need in this Six Nations.
Ireland and France were the two standout teams in the 2023 Six Nations and the pair are likely to be the teams to beat again this season.
The schedule has been kind to England, as they first travel to Italy, before a home clash against a new-look Wales side at Twickenham.
England then travel to Murrayfield for a Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland, before welcoming Ireland to Twickenham and travelling to Paris on the final weekend.
It’s hard to see England leapfrogging the Irish and French at present and third-place finish would represent a solid, if not underwhelming Six Nations for the Red Rose.
Since the Six Nations was created with the arrival of Italy in 2000, England have managed to win the title on seven occasions.
England have landed the Grand Slam twice in 2003, when they also went on to win the World Cup, and in 2016.
Since last winning the Six Nations in 2020, England have had to settle for fifth, third and fourth in the last three tournaments.
|Won Calcutta Cup
|Won Triple Crown
|Won Calcutta Cup
|Won Grand Slam
|Six Nations Champions
|Six Nations Champions
England’s form heading into the Six Nations is positive as they won all of their Pool D games at the 2023 World Cup.
Beating the likes of Argentina, Japan, Chile and Samoa, England went on to triumph over Fiji 30-24 in the quarter-finals.
England’s produced a gusty showing against South Africa in the semi-finals but the eventual winners of the tournament prevailed 16-15.
The last run out for the Red Rose was in the Bronze Final, with England beating Argentina 26-23 in Saint-Denis to finish third in the World Cup.
England are 9/2 to beat Wales, Scotland and Ireland to win the Triple Crown, while they are to claim the unwanted Wooden Spoon.
Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.