RBS 6 Nations Preview: England
England, if you add all the good bits up, have had roughly 2.5 good games in the last three years, two of these have been against Australia in the past six months which would suggest that the team is improving. In a way it is, there are some very promising young players coming through in a number of positions who have taken international rugby in their stride. In other ways it is not; the good moments have been punctuated by long, meandering sessions of slow-ball, brainless dreck that made the fans' souls cry; and Mike Tindall is apparently still the best 13.
Many pundits have for some unfathomable reason installed England - an average team with no pace in the forwards, and little creativity behind - as favourites for this tournament. I am here to stop this madness.
Fact is, England are 10 months out from a World Cup and somehow still believe that Joe Worsley is some kind of impact sub, Louis Deacon is some kind of international rugby player, and that Matt Banahan is some kind of quality centre. They are insane.
Prediction: 3rd, and that's only because the Wales squad has more injuries than Hull on a particularly violent Saturday night
Key Player: Shontayne Hape. No, that's not a joke. 12 is where games are often won and lost from these days, and for the decent England back three to get moving he'll have to show something from there.
Player most likely to make Brian Moore's piss boil (excluding scrum-half): James Haskell - "Where the hell is he going! There's no point having all that pace if you use it to run away from your support! Stupid!"