England staged a revival under new coach Eddie Jones to triumph in the Six Nations for the first time in five years.
Their success came months after the Red Rose endured the humiliation of crashing out of their home World Cup at the group stage, becoming the first host nation to bow out of the tournament at the first hurdle.
Stuart Lancaster’s team failed to cope with the pressure on the grand stage as they suffered defeats to Wales and Australia in their Pool A matches to crash out of the competition.
As a result, Lancaster lost his position as head coach and was duly replaced by Jones, who had guided Japan to an upset victory over South Africa at the World Cup.
Jones made an immediate impact in his role by replacing Chris Robshaw as captain, with Dylan Hartley elevated to the position.
England became stubborn in defence throughout the Six Nations as they conceded only 70 points and four tries in the competition.
The team were clinical in attack with the potent play of Anthony Watson on the wing and Jonathan Joseph through the middle to notch 132 points.
The Red Rose avenged their defeat at the hands of Wales at the World Cup on their way to clinching the Grand Slam for the first time in 13 years.
Jones has now engineered England into a position to become the dominant team in the Northern Hemisphere, with early rugby odds of 5/4 to win the Six Nations again next year.
However, they will find a much tougher challenge when they travel Down Under to take on the Wallabies in their own back yard.
Bernard Foley tormented the Red Rose at Twickenham with two tries along with four penalties in a 28-point performance in Australia’s commanding victory in the World Cup.
Foley outfoxed his opposite number Owen Farrell with a mesmerising performance at fly-half, while displaying deadly accuracy with the boot to put the nail in England’s coffin at the tournament.
England made significant improvements at the breakdown during the Six Nations, mainly due to the play of Maro Itoje, but Wallabies duo David Pocock and Michael Hooper remain the best in the business and will aim to dominate in that area once again for Michael Cheika’s men.
There remains enough power and pace in the backs to tear apart the improved Red Rose defence, with Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau and Adam Ashley-Cooper in the line-up.
The guile of Will Genia proved to be too much for Ben Youngs to handle in the clash at Twickenham, although he will likely face off against Danny Care when the sides meet in June at the Suncorp Stadium.
Australia hold the advantage in the head-to-head contests with 25 wins compared to England’s 18, while the Red Rose have only ever claimed three Test victories Down Under, one of which was there famous World Cup final triumph in 2003.
Jones will have been delighted with how his team fared in the Six Nations, but the Wallabies will provide a much stronger test of how much progress England have made under his brief tenure.