Ben Kay, gives us his thoughts on the Red Rose's chances in this year's tournament.
"As much as I will miss the excitement of being part of an English dressing room before a big 6 Nations clash, I must admit that I am thoroughly looking forward to immersing myself in this year’s tournament as a fan. I am currently loving life off the pitch and I feel as if I have finally got to a stage where I am no longer envious of the guys on the pitch. I can’t wait to soak up the atmosphere in Cardiff and take my seat in the Millenium Stadium this evening, which will no doubt be rocking in anticipation of a truly memorable Friday night of rugby.
Like most English fans, I am slightly nervous about tonight’s game due to the loss of influential players like Lewis Moody, Tom Croft and Courtney Lawes. However, it is up to the guys who have come in to prove their worth and take their chance. Haskell has been playing really well in France of late and he has a big point to prove to the English management and to the rugby world in general.
The potential of this English side is massive, with a host of young players breathing new life into the setup. Ben Youngs and Chris Ashton will be key to England’s success in this tournament and I hope they continue to inspire the brand of rugby we saw against Australia in the autumn.
I am still not convinced by our centre partnership. I think Mike Tindall thoroughly deserves the chance to lead his country but the next couple of weeks will be very important for Shontayne Hape if he wants to cement his place as Tindall’s partner. Riki Flutey is only a couple of weeks off a return and he will be eager to force his way back into the side.
If England can claw their way to victory in Cardiff this evening, not an easy feat by any means, then they would go into their 3 consecutive home games with a lot of confidence. Victory tonight would lay the foundations for our first title in 8 years."