Six Nations: Graham Rowntree predicting big things from England's pack
Graham Rowntree expects England's pack to grow even stronger during the Six Nations.
Last Updated: 28/01/14 6:53pm
There were concerns about the England forwards' physicality after the 30-3 rout by Wales in last year's title decider.
However, an impressive autumn saw England hold their own against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand and they now look to possess a pack that will be feared across the Championship.
"I'm pleased with how we're progressing, particularly in that last game against New Zealand," said forwards coach Rowntree.
"New Zealand are the best team in the world and we reeled them in to 22-20.
"What I liked was that the blend of our game was good in terms of our set piece and carrying. You must have threats across the field in every fact of the game.
"Towards the end of the game we had a couple of slip ups at the line out which we can't afford to do.
"They're the learnings we take, but I'm happy with the way we're going.
"There's lots more to come. Test level, as I say to the lads, is about doing lots of little things exceptionally well.
"We have to learn to do those for 80 minutes. That's the progression for us and it will come with experience."
England open their campaign in Paris on Saturday against a France side that picked up the wooden spoon in last year's Six Nations.
But having negotiated a two-week training camp with the Top 14 clubs prior to the Championship, Les Bleus are expected to challenge for the title
"Some of the highlights of my career were winning in France and that was both at club and international level," said Rowntree.
"I have a lot of respect for them and there's no such thing as a weak French team, regardless of what happened last year. I have too much respect for them to believe that."