Andrew eyes bright future

By Tony Curtis.   Last Updated: 19/03/07 9:05pm

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Director of elite rugby Rob Andrew insists England's Six Nations campaign was "very positive" despite the defeats to Ireland and Wales.

England remained unbeaten at home in the tournament, including victory over champions France, however their form away from Twickenham was more suspect having suffered a record loss to the Irish at Croke Park and a shock reverse to Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

And although there is still work to be done, the emergence of the likes of Nick Easter, David Strettle, Shane Geraghty, Tom Rees and Toby Flood has given Andrew renewed hope for the World Cup.

Andrew said: "It was a very positive Six Nations in many respects.

"We have blooded a lot of new players and won our three home games which is the first place you start when you are trying to rebuild something. England were even struggling to win at home prior to that.

"The long-term future looks very bright. The increased in size of our pool of Test players is a positive shift.

"And one of the important things to have come from the Six Nations is that for the first time in three years England are looking forward rather than looking back.

"The short-term challenge is about getting the right balance between youth and experience to deliver what Brian wants delivered heading into the World Cup.

"The last World Cup team took six years to develop and we have six months. But if we do get that balance right there have been enough signs in this tournament that we can be positive moving forward."

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