We spoke to England captain Chris Robshaw as he reflected on the autumn internationals, looked ahead to next year's tour of New Zealand and also the long-term build-up to the 2015 World Cup.
England had a decent autumn run, beating Australia and Argentina and just coming up short against New Zealand, who managed to go the entire year without tasting defeat to make professional rugby history.
On the whole, Robshaw says the team were satisfied with the fixtures, and there were definite signs of Stuart Lancaster's men heading in the right direction.
"As a team we saw the positives, we went into the series to try and win all three games, we came close to beating New Zealand, we wanted to win and we were in a good position with 20 minutes to go," Robshaw told Sky Sports at the new GSK Human Performance Lab.
"But we've come a long way in the last four weeks so we are moving forward and as long as we continue to do so hopefully we take that form into the Six Nations.
"Everyone goes back to their clubs for big Heineken Cup games this weekend then we meet up again and hopefully we can kick on from there.
"We suffered a few injuries - but they are always an opportunity for someone, of course you want all your best players out there and unfortunately we have lost a couple but that's a privileged position we have in the England team at the moment we have a lot of strength in depth."
England will again go head-to-head with the All Blacks on their summer tour next year, and Robshaw thinks that will be the perfect preparation ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
After seeing them at first hand, Robshaw says England are looking to emulate New Zealand and become a lot more clinical in scoring tries - something which was their major issue in the recent fixtures.
"A lot of credit has to be given to them - to be the only team in the professional era to go through a calendar year unbeaten is an incredible feat and it's why they are No 1 and won the last World Cup.
All Blacks tour
"We have a challenging tour going down there in the summer but it's one everyone's looking forward to - we ran them pretty close at times but close isn't good enough we're judged on results and we've got to go down there in the summer and give it a massive go.
"As a team they're probably the most clinical. They get an opportunity and more often than not they take it at the right times and it's about having that ruthless edge and we are developing it and in two years' time we should be there."
Being at home for the World Cup should be a huge advantage to England, and Robshaw would like to see a London 2012 effect on the nation when the tournament comes around.
"You look at what the Olympics did with the home nation all getting behind the GB side and I'm sure the English fans will do exactly that for the World Cup, so we really want to kick on now for the next two years.
"I think Stuart's got a great coaching staff which is helping all the England players to improve so as long as we keep going in the right direction then we should be OK for two years' time."
In his role as a Maxinutrition ambassador at the GSK Human Performance Lab, Robshaw was put through his paces, and he says sports science and nutrition is now more important than ever, with the game so fast and ferocious and the margins between winning and losing so slim.
"It's great to have that scientific approach, the game is a lot more scientific these days. Everybody's seen the pouches in the back of our England shirts which are GPS units, people wear heart rate monitors and then there's the nutrition.
"Seeing what the body actually needs, more calories, less calories, more protein, more carbs - things like that. There's a lot more nutritional elements to the science these days than when I started.
"As soon as you walk off the pitch the guys give you a shake straight away so that your body can start to repair the broken tissue immediately so you're ready for the next training session, the next game.
"Every team's trying to look for that edge, to find that little bit extra and that's the same with all our nutritional information, just getting that right balance can make a difference."
Chris was speaking at the new world class facility, The GSK Human Performance Lab as an ambassador for Maxinutrition.