Honours: Rugby World Cup winners (2003), Six Nations Grand Slam (2003), Five Nations Grand Slam (1913, 1914, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1957, 1980, 1991, 1992 & 1995), Six Nations winners (Three times), Five Nations winners (17 outright, six shared), Four Nations winners (five outright, four shared), World Cup runners-up (1991, 2007).
Coach: Former England and British & Irish Lions captain Martin Johnson succeeded Bath stalwart Brian Ashton as coach in 2008 after another below-par Six Nations, inheriting a team very much in an uncertain period of transition. Johnson, who retired from playing after lifting the Rugby World Cup in 2003, installed ex-London Irish boss Brian Smith as his right-hand man in an attempt to improve attacking flair. And it finally seems to be happening.
Captain: Bath flanker Lewis Moody seems to be Johnson's man for the job after doing good things at Leicester and now at the Rec. First handed the England captaincy in their last game of the 2010 Six Nations, 'Mad Dog' was swiftly given the job on a full-time basis and will continue to lead by example - when fit - in 2011.
Player to watch: Shooting up both club and national ranks over the last year or so, scrum-half Ben Youngs exemplifies everything that a coach craves from his number nine. Lively at the base and always a threat with breaks, the Leicester Tiger is key to England's new-look side. But will he have Toby Flood or Jonny Wilkinson outside him?
Profile: Traditional under-achievers on the international scene despite vast playing resources, England underwent something of a revolution in the late 1980s and were the northern hemisphere side to break the south's rugby hegemony after winning the Rugby World Cup in 2003, having moved to No.1 in the world rankings in the course of 2002.
Up until that period, England's glories had been few and far between, with great successes often followed immediately by failure. But the tenure of Geoff Cooke as England manager between 1988 and 1994 saw a period of sustained success for England, with structures put in place to enable the national team to finally pull its weight on the world stage.
Not that it has been plain-sailing all the way in recent years with the fabled Grand Slam slipping through England's fingers during the Five/Six Nations championships in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and their Rugby World Cup campaign in 1999 coming off the rails in spectacular style at the quarter-final stage when they were roundly beaten by South Africa in Paris.
Since the 2003 World Cup triumph, many of the players who led England to the pinnacle of the game have retired, including inspirational captain Johnson.
Under the guidance of RWC-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward's right-hand man Andy Robinson, England went into a full slump, losing at home to Argentina for the first time ever in November 2006.
Another World Cup Final in 2007 - under Ashton - failed to cover the cracks and they need to now fire under Johnson in 2011. Recent form against Australia and others gives fans a great deal of hope ahead of the World Cup in New Zealand later this year so we wait to see whether consistency against the tougher nations can be achieved.