Stuart Lancaster will have slept a little easier on Saturday night following his side's victory over Ireland. After the nightmare that was Paris, England's performance on green grass of home will have comforted their Head Coach however rest assured he knows that the greatest challenges are still to come...
The fact that the Parisian crunch didn't go to plan means that emotions are running even higher than they would have been if England had delivered the performance that expected and as such secured a victory. We all have our opinions but at that end of the day they are just that and Stuart Lancaster and his coaching team will be the ones to decide.
As the Rugby World Cup draws nearer, waiting just over this season's horizon, the divergent fortunes of success or failure are drawing more into focus, as each subsequent decision by the various coaches compounds the already great pressure on them.
England have two major problems that I am not sure can fixed. They concede too many tries, the great England side of 2003 were miserly in giving away points. The other major issue if the lack of decision makers. Over the past two weeks, time after time chances have gone begging because players are making the wrong decisions at key times.
Yesterday it was announced that Stuart Lancaster and his core team, Andy Farrell, Mike Catt and Graham Rowntree have all had their contracts extended until the 2019/2020 season. When he made this announcement, the Chairman of the RFU, Ian Richie, used the following words; "we believe this is entirely the right decision for the future of England Rugby" and I have to say I totally agree with him and here is why.
England's depth of talent has deepened to a point where in every position there are at least two or even three truly viable options... if England make the same amount of progression that they have done since this time last year then there is no reason why they won't head into the World Cup confident and fully ready.