Steve Borthwick feels that England supporters “deserve better” when it comes to performances and results in the Guinness Six Nations.
While England’s seven Six Nations titles put them top of the tree, the tally also gives a slightly distorted picture.
Three of those successes came during the competition’s first four seasons – and before England won the 2003 World Cup – and it has been a mere 20 per cent success-rate since then.
One title over the past six years underlines how tough England have found it and they have their work cut out again this time around, given the dominant form of Ireland and France.
“What has happened sometimes is England have been coming into the tournament and we are often talked about being favourites, and essentially England’s performance has not been anywhere near that level,” England head coach Borthwick said.
“The team knows that and the team wants to deliver better and the supporters deserve better.”
England will arrive in the competition after a third-place finish at the World Cup, an outcome that exceeded many expectations.
And the fixture schedule has been relatively kind as games against opening opponents Italy in Rome and Wales at Twickenham could see them generate early momentum.
But given it is then a Murrayfield appointment with Scotland, chasing four successive victories over England for the first time since 1972, then Ireland before a finale against France in Lyon, starting well is pretty much non-negotiable.
With World Cup captain Owen Farrell deciding to miss the Six Nations as he prioritises his and his family’s mental well-being, hooker Jamie George takes over as skipper.
Borthwick’s 36-strong squad includes seven uncapped players, headlined by 21-year-old Exeter wing Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, with only 17 survivors from the World Cup.
Borthwick added: “I think you can see from my selections that I value the importance of having experience in there with younger, less experienced players and having that sort of support around them.
“I think that’s really important on the international stage. I think it is important at any level.
“So I think getting that balance right with the experience and with these exciting players, younger players coming in is going to be really important.
“Our intent is to hit the ground running in Rome the way we want with the intensity that we want to, which is something that England have not done in recent years.
“We want this to be a different mindset for England, a different way of approaching the game and the tournament.
“We are taking a different approach because we need different results to previous tournaments.”