Interim England coach Stuart Lancaster is determined to restore the pride and prestige of playing for the nation – and has called on Gary Neville to help get his message across.
The former Manchester United full-back was capped 85 times for England but admits he looks back on his time with the Three Lions as a wasted opportunity.
And Lancaster is hoping his message will get through to this current crop of England players – many of whom were part of the squad who were so disappointing on and off the pitch at last year’s Rugby World Cup.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Lancaster said: “”Speaking to [Neville], he was frustrated because he never felt he achieved with England what he wanted to achieve.
“He wants to help the players understand what is possible when you get it right, when you are playing for your country and the nation is behind you.
“When it was Euro ’96, three lions on the shirt, how powerful was that? We all felt it. He wants to help our team get that feeling.”
England will need all the help they can get to bounce back from the problems in New Zealand and this is the latest step Lancaster has taken to distance himself and the players from the farcical scenes of that tournament.
Consequently, there are nine uncapped players in England’s Six Nations squad and they are currently 4/1 joint third favourites with Ireland.
There is plenty to be optimistic about for England though and Lancaster seems to be making all the right noises.
If he doesn’t remain beyond the Six Nations tournament though, then you can have a bet on Sir Clive Woodward and Gary Neville forming a coaching partnership at 100/1.
After Sir Clive’s less than auspicious venture into football with Southampton though, it’s hard to see him being too keen on Neville moving in the other direction.
Ladbrokes latest betting
Gary Neville specials
2/1 To attend an England rugby match during 2012
10000/1 To be the next permanent England Rugby Coach
100/1 To work for the RFU in an official capacity before 2015
100/1 To work alongside Sir Clive Woodward in a coaching management role