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.
Recent injuries have not helped and would-be captain Lewis Moody must prove his fitness for England's opener against Argentina on September 10 while scrum-half Danny Care will watch the competition at home.
Johnson's preferred midfield partnership of Mike Tindall and Shontayne Hape has also come in for a barrage of criticism while who wears the No.10 jersey remains a contentious issue with fly-half Toby Flood, who guided England to their first RBS 6 Nations triumph since 2003 earlier this year, going head to head with golden boy Jonny Wilkinson.
But England are the bookies favourite to sail through a group that contains Argentina, Scotland, Romania and Georgia and into the latter stages of the competition where the formbook suggests they would meet France and Australia in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, before locking horns with the All Blacks at Eden Park.
And while Woodward believes the Red Rose still strikes fear into all of England's rivals, he admits he'd be backing the Kiwis if he were a betting man.
"New Zealand are favourites, it would be very wrong to bet against them because favourites tend to win," said Woodward speaking at a meeting of the Sports Journalists' Association.
"One of the biggest things in 2003 that I was most proud of was that we arrived as favourites at that tournament
"The one team who could beat New Zealand is Australia, but they’ve hopefully got to get past England and I can’t see that happening. If England are playing in the semi-finals, they have a very good chance of beating them – that’s the history of rugby
"But I think if you speak to any of the teams in the World Cup, if you speak to all the favourites – New Zealand, Australia, South Africa – they won’t want to play against England in the World Cup
"We’ve got a good history in the World Cup now, whichever team goes out there, and it’s a good team and we’ve got a strong group of players
"We’re not a team others want to play against, which is a good sign, and I think the loss to Wales will be the wake-up exactly what this group needed."