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.
With one eye on the Sevens World Cup this summer out have gone 17 of the biggest names in women’s rugby, including skipper Katy McLean and Margaret Alphonsi.
But rather than bemoan their absence Hunter, who plays at No.8, insists the chance for newer faces to make their mark will ensure that the team’s performance levels do not drop, regardless of individual personnel.
“This could be a very open Six Nations but our priority and target is to go out and win,” she said.
“We will prepare in exactly the same way, to lose 17 players is obviously a big deal but the players coming in are very talented and it makes a great opportunity for them to take and get their first caps.
“In the past they have not necessarily had that chance but now they can prove they deserve to be picked in the future.
“It’s an exciting time for English rugby and will show the strength in depth that we have, the autumn internationals already showed that with the changed team against New Zealand.
“We adapt really well, we have a philosophy and know how we are going to play, whoever comes onto the park can fit in.”
First up for England in the defence of their crown will be Scotland who come to Esher next Saturday.
And captain Susie Brown insists that she and her international teammates have absolutely no intention of underestimating the Red Rose XV.
“England have such phenomenal strength in depth,” she added.
“They are one of the few in the women’s game who can compete while still separating out their sevens and XVs squad.
“The talent they have coming through will definitely mix it in the Six Nations, we would never underestimate them.
“They’re phenomenal and have won the last seven, we look at the names that have gone but the players they bring in and the system they have in place I'm sure they will be very similar.”
Elsewhere in the first round of games Italy face Scotland while Ireland travel to Wales hoping to win for the first time since 2005.
And with Ireland’s main focus on World Cup qualification, which will need a top-four finish, skipper Fiona Coughlan knows the importance of going to Aberavon and getting a result.
“The primary ambition is to seal World Cup qualification and based on that we cannot afford to look past Wales,” she said.
“We have not won there since 2005, every competition you want to win and after ten years I would love some silverware but you have to be realistic, we have not finished above third.
“We will focus on the Welsh game first and to have France and England coming to us, we would love to be able turn one of them over. It’s important for the growth of the game.”