How the captains see their chances of Six Nations success
Sportsmail speaks to the captains hoping to lead their countries to glory at the upcoming Six Nations and gauges their views on where the tournament will be won and lost.
COACH: Stuart Lancaster
CAPTAIN: Tom Wood
LAST YEAR: Winners
COACH Philippe Saint-Andre
CAPTAIN Thierry Dusautoir
LAST YEAR: Runners-up
Lessons needed to be learned from the World Cup and I truly believe that they have been. There's a lot of energy in the camp, everyone's got a point to prove and we're all desperate to put on the white shirt and do our best to right the wrongs. Scotland at Murrayfield is a really tough first hurdle but it's vital that we get off on the right foot and crucial that the team play without fear.
Our main goal is to be consistent. In the World Cup we were good enough to beat England and Wales and should have won the final, too. But we also lost to Tonga and in the last game of the 2011 Six Nations we lost in Italy. We need to find the spirit of the Anglo-Saxon teams. A new adventure begins for us and after losing to Italy last year we will take our first game against them very seriously.
COACH: Declan Kidney
CAPTAIN: Paul O'Connell
LAST YEAR: Third
COACH: Warren Gatland
CAPTAIN: Sam Warburton
LAST YEAR: 4th
Brian O'Driscoll is a big loss, but there are a lot of leaders in the squad and the provinces have done well in Europe, which means we have confident players coming into the Six Nations. We have the potential to do extremely well, but a lot will depend on the first game against Wales. They beat us in the World Cup quarter-final because we didn't take our chances to win.
There's always expectation in Wales but even more so after our World Cup. We need to back it up. All the players are delighted the coaching team have signed new contracts and we have a spring in our step. We have great camaraderie because so many of us came through the academy together and with three home games we should do well, but much will depend on our first game in Dublin.
COACH: Andy Robinson
CAPTAIN: Ross Ford
LAST YEAR: 5th
COACH: Jacques Brunel
CAPTAIN: Sergio Parisse
LAST YEAR: 6th
There's a feelgood factor in Scottish rugby and a great belief within the team that we can win every game. We don't just have our usual passion, we have the ability as well but we need to perform for 80 minutes in every game and turn winning positions into victories by producing the basics under pressure.
The Calcutta Cup will be a massive spectacle, very intense and physical.
We must take the next step from being competitive to winning. We improve year after year but it is not enough. We have a big responsibility to our fans, who understand our passion and spirit but want to see us win. Beating France last March proves we can do it. I want at least two wins this time. Playing the French first in Paris will be hard and then we have England in Rome in front of 70,000 mainly Italian fans.