Skipper Steve Borthwick believes England's autumn injury nightmare can be the catalyst to RBS 6 Nations success - starting with victory against Wales tomorrow.
Borthwick and co. were slated in the press for a series of under-par autumn displays with the side notching just one win, against Argentina, and a solitary try in the same game.
The Argentina victory was sandwiched between defeats against New Zealand and Australia as England laboured without star turns Delon Armitage, Riki Flutey and Simon Shaw.
But far from bemoaning their autumn hard luck Borthwick – who will lead the side for the 17th consecutive Test match on Saturday – insists their short term turmoil will reap long term rewards.
"It would have been fantastic to have a stable group of players,” said Borthwick. “That has not been the reality but those experiences have undoubtedly made us a stronger group.
"You can learn from all experiences, good and bad. That is something I have tried to do as a captain.
"But the success of any side needs a strong leadership group. We are developing a leadership group of some stature when you think of Lewis Moody, Jonny Wilkinson, Mark Cueto, Simon Shaw."