Six Nations 2014: Chris Robshaw hopes growing experience will prove to be deciding factor as England look to improve on second place
Robshaw has led England to the runners-up spot in the past two championships but believes a more experienced core could lead to Six Nations glory
Thursday 23 January 2014
Chris Robshaw believes experience may be the telling factor in England improving on successive runners-up finishes and winning the RBS 6 Nations.
The last two Championships have seen Stuart Lancaster's England finish second, losing only to eventual winners Wales on both occasions.
The most harrowing of those defeats was the 30-3 rout in Cardiff last year when England's Grand Slam aspirations were obliterated in 80 painful minutes.
"We're a lot more experienced now. If you look at the core group it's very experienced, it's been playing together for two seasons," Robshaw said.
"We've come along way. In every tournament we continue to improve, although we haven't quite finished it off. There are still areas to improve on.
"In the autumn we got a good win against Australia and a good win against Argentina, but fell just short against New Zealand, so there are little things we are tinkering with.
"As a squad every time we meet up we are further down the line.
"Of course it was very disappointing to go to Cardiff last year and not get over that final hurdle. Wales have beaten us on the last two occasions now.
"But every game in this tournament is a massive occasion, we start away to France and are looking forward to going over there.
"Two away games to start will be challenging, but Stuart and the coaches have it under control. We know we must hit the ground running."
England open their Six Nations campaign in Paris on February 1 and Les Bleus coach Philippe Saint-Andre has set the scene for one of the Championship's most eagerly-awaited fixtures.
"We don't start with the starter, but with the 'Rosbif', so with the main course!" Saint-Andre said.
"It's always a huge game against England and the atmosphere will be special.
"The Six Nations is a fantastic event especially when France play against England.
"Some people don't have a clue about rugby, but each year they sit in front of the TV to watch France against England. It's about history."
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