England boss Martin Johnson is confident the 44-man squad he has assembled to take on Australia is the strongest since their World Cup triumph in 2003.
The Southern Hemisphere has been a miserable hunting ground for England since Jonny Wilkinson booted them to victory in Sydney seven years ago with the last tour of New Zealand ending in a set of comprehensive defeats.
Fly-half Charlie Hodgson was made the fall guy for one of those losses but is now back in the extended touring party that will play two Tests against Australia as well as three midweek matches.
And although not every player will have their opportunity to test themselves against the Wallabies, Johnson says there will be no division within his squad.
He said: “It's a full England tour, and I'm considering them all as a squad, not as a midweek or Test team. It's an old school tour and everyone will have to muck in.
“I’m considering the whole squad and not a midweek and a Test group.
“They may not all be Test matches but they are England matches and this is probably the strongest squad we have taken Down Under since 2003.
“The guys are looking forward to the tour more than any I can remember. The guys coming back in are gagging to get back into the squad.
“Whose record is good down in the Southern Hemisphere? Any win in the southern hemisphere is an achievement.
“That's the fun of it - we're going to Australia and England v Australia at any sport has got an edge to it.”