The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
The inclusion of the likes of Dan Cole, Ben Foden, Chris Ashton and Courtney Lawes – who will miss England’s first few matches of the Six Nations through injury – have injected a new flair and excitement into Martin Johnson's set-up.
And Thompson, one of the few remaining survivors of England’s last Six Nations triumph in 2003, says the new generation’s enthusiasm has been contagious.
He said: “We managed to win a couple in the autumn and there’s a great belief in the squad that we can improve again in the Six Nations.
“The young lads like Ben Youngs, Chris Ashton, Dan Cole and Courtney Lawes have come in to the squad and done brilliantly.
“They are all great lads and aren’t afraid to ask the more senior lads like myself for advice and have fitted into the group brilliantly.
“The belief they have gained from beating Australia twice already is huge and that can rub off on the whole squad – I’m looking forward to the rest of the year and seeing what we can achieve.
“It was nice to see my name in the squad this week – you never tire of hearing you are in an England squad.
“When I came back from injury and to England the target both times was to get to the World Cup so to be in the squad now is fantastic.
“I’ve still got work to do to make sure I’m on that plane and I know more than most that I’m only one injury away from being ruled out.
“But I can’t think about – I just go out onto the pitch and play the best rugby I possibly can and help Leeds and England win matches.”