England have been handed a “fortunate” Six Nations draw and should be dark horses to win the tournament, according to former captain Dylan Hartley.
And he believes head coach Steve Borthwick will come under pressure just one year into his tenure if the Red and Whites fall short of expectations.
“Steve got given a team pre-World Cup, and with the need to survive, he picked a very experienced squad,” Hartley told Instant Casino.
“It was a time when stability was needed on the big stage. This is the first time Steve can put his fingerprints on the team.
“I am really looking forward to seeing his culture and philosophy. They will be stronger from their experience in France. A far tighter group.
“So this is the first time to judge Steve properly. This is not Eddie’s team now. He has made his selections.
“If you want to be judgmental, this is where Steve lives and dies by the sword. He will come under the pump if it doesn’t go well, and if it does, which we all want to see, he will get the praise.”