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.
And in his retirement the now 29-year-old British and Irish Lion has seen enough in England’s improved performances over the past year to convince him that they have what it takes to succeed in the land of the long white cloud.
But the former Leicester Tigers scrum-half, who played 27 times for England, has warned his compatriots not peak too soon in a World Cup that will last for the best part of two months.
“England can definitely win the World Cup this year, they have got real quality all over the pitch and a nice blend of experience and youth that could work wonders,” said Ellis, who is an ambassador for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series 2011.
“We shouldn’t have any trouble getting through our group, I’m confident that we have what it takes to see off every side in that group as long as the side gel, which I think they will do.
“And then after that it’s anyone’s game and in my opinion we’ve got some of the most experienced guys in our squad and we are a very good tournament team that know how to win games.
“But the most vital factor is that the team continues to grow, that they are always improving, it’s not the end of the world how you perform in the groups as long as you just get through them.
“You only have to look at 2007 to see that, we were destroyed by South Africa in the group stages and yet we came extremely close to beating them by the time we met again in the final.”
Ellis ran in five tries in his 27 appearances for England but it was an international career plagued with injury problems and he was never part of a team that won the RBS 6 Nations.
And after this year’s success Ellis, who missed out on England’s run to the final of the 2007 World Cup through, predictably, a knee injury, has stressed the importance of keeping the momentum going.
“This year’s Six Nations will have given them a lot of confidence and that can only be a good thing heading out to New Zealand,” he added.
“Of course the last game against Ireland will have hurt and they need to get that winning mentality back as soon as possible.
“That’s why I think the warm up games will be extremely important, the guys know that we have plenty of things to improve on, we’re certainly not the finished article, no team ever is.
“And of course, above all, we don’t want any injuries, people need to use these warmups to get match sharp but at the same time emerge unscathed.”
Tickets for every round of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series are available through Ticketmaster /www.ticketmaster.co.uk http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/or by calling 0844 847 2492