Time is not on interim head coach Stuart Lancaster’s side but he is confident that he can remind his disciples of just what it means to represent your country.
Headingley-based Lancaster has lined up an array of talent to help drum the message home in next week’s training camp at West Park Leeds’ Bramhope base as England continue their build up to the RBS Six Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 4.
The former Leeds Tykes coach said of the week: “The first meeting on Monday will be about trying to get a sense of team and get them to understand about where we’re going.
“It’s going to paint a vision for them about what the future looks like – and get them excited and engaged in that.”
Ex-England Saxons coach Lancaster added: “If we can achieve that, day two in the evening becomes – OK, let’s learn from what we haven’t done so well, and establish some real ground rules about what we want to be as a group.
“They come as written rules – a code of conduct – but also those unwritten rules which elite performers should abide by.
“We’ll have a leadership group meeting in the morning and agree it with them, then talk it through with the rest of the group in the evening and then culturally through the week.”
Former schoolteacher Lancaster is bringing in good outside influences to emphasise the pride aspect.
He said: “While we’ve got the layering on the game plan, on Wednesday we’ve got the meal with Dave Brailsford (cycling), Hugh Morris (cricket) and Kevin Sinfield (rugby league).
“On Thursday we’ve got the talk from (former Bull) Jamie Peacock, who’s a good down-to-earth lad, plus one other, and someone’s coming from the Army (Morley’s Simon Brown) to talk about what it means to play for England.”
By then Lancaster will know his captain and his other five team leaders.