England captain Chris Robshaw believes his squad's growing experience will help navigate a difficult start to this year's Six Nations.
Stuart Lancaster's team face France and Scotland away in the opening two rounds, before hosting title contenders Ireland and Wales at Twickenham.
The core of Lancaster's squad have now been together for two season, with Robshaw at the helm throughout, and the Harlequins openside believes their increasing knowledge of Test rugby and each other will stand them in good stead.
England have finished second in the last two Six Nations championships to Wales.
"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," said Robshaw.
"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."