After yet another disappointing second place finish in this year’s Six Nations tournament, England will pick themselves up and look to take advantage of home support and win the Rugby World Cup this autumn. Stuart Lancaster’s side will be much stronger than in the Spring, and will welcome a number of key first-team players back to the squad. We take a look ahead to the upcoming tournament and provide our thoughts on whether England can win their first World Cup title since 2003, or if Lancaster’s side will ultimately come up short in yet another international competition.
Players have returned from injury
England fielded a depleted team for this year’s Six Nations tournament and, when one considers just how many key members of the squad were missing, they performed admirably to come within a whisker of the trophy. There is no doubt that Stuart Lancaster’s side missed the composed kicking game of Owen Farrell, along with seasoned pros Manu Tuilagi and Joe Launchberry as England struggled to cope without the former’s sheer force and the latter’s ability to get over the advantage line. Lancaster will have a wider range of players to choose from for the World Cup and if he gets that selection right, England will stand a great chance of winning the tournament.
Six Nations failure will spur England on
Chris Robshaw has insisted that the failure to win their first Six Nations title since 2011 will spur England on to win this year’s World Cup. Lancaster’s side are hungry for success and, with a number of key players in the prime of their careers, this is the time for the likes of Owen Farrell, Ben Morgan and Courtney Lawes to step up and be counted. There is no doubting that England’s squad is talented enough to win the competiton, but they must prove that they are capable of shutting opposing teams out if they are to beat the best teams in the world. Their experienced heads must remain disciplined and supporters will do their all to ensure that Lancaster’s side can progress through the competition as they aim to regain the World Cup title.
They avoid New Zealand until the final
In terms of the draw, England will avoid New Zealand until the final but could face South Africa relatively early on if they fail to finish as Pool A winners. They may be paired up against their group stage opponents Australia/Wales as they progress through the tournament, but they will avoid the All Blacks until the showpiece game of the competition. If England are to become world champions once again, it is likely that they will have to beat the greatest team in international rugby – a tough task, but with the support of the fans and a bit of luck, they will stand a chance of World Cup glory.