Eddie Jones has urged his England stars to find their voice against France in Six Nations opener
The Grand Slam champions have an excuse to walk with a certain strut, standing as they do on the verge of a national record 15th successive win.
Eddie Jones's observation yesterday was that, far from that being the case, England's players remain a little too humble for his liking.
Jones, being Australian, associates a certain in-your-face brashness with winning at the very highest level and confessed yesterday that for all England's success under him so far he has yet to coax it out of his squad. And to make the transition from good to great, he needs them to find their voice.
"If I was to generalise as an Australian talking about the English – which is probably not a good thing to do, but I'll do it anyway – I find the English to be very reserved. The last thing I find them to be is arrogant. I find them to be very polite, reserved people and I find that with the players," said Jones.
England are on the verge of recording a national record of 15 successive wins
"We are encouraging the players to be more forthright. We are saying to the players, 'If we're not giving you the right preparation, we want you to tell us. Don't accept it'. To me that is the problem.
"Maybe football is the same – the players are too reserved. The manager comes in and says, 'You do this, we will play this formation', and it's not right for the players, but the players accept it because he is the manager then against Iceland, with 20 minutes to go it's not working and they've got nothing to fall back on.
"We want our players to be deliberately…not arrogant, but forthright. We want them to make decisions and if they have to, go against what the coaches say if it is the right thing on the field."
Challenging Jones probably feels like taking their life in their hands but it represents phase two of their development under him. The England coach's stated aim is to make himself obsolete by the 2019 World Cup.
Joe Marler revealed his recovery from a broken leg was helped by drinking milk
The loss of half their pack from the autumn complicates the switch to self-reliance as they head into his second Six Nations but England's depth is such that the eight Jones named yesterday to face France still looks the strongest set of forwards in the championship.
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If Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes are the back-up second row with George Kruis injured and Maro Itoje reassigned to the back row, England are hardly on their uppers.
Chris Robshaw's graft will be missed, as will the punch of the Vunipola brothers, but the rapid recovery of Joe Marler from a broken leg negates that somewhat. The Harlequins prop revealed the secret behind his healing powers yesterday. Milk.
"Your mum says milk is really good for you and you don't really believe it until you really need it because you've got a broken leg. I just drank loads of that," said Marler.
Six Nations 2016 in pictures
Sun, March 20, 2016
Express Sport brings you the best pictures from the 2016 RBS Six Nations Championship
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Express Sport brings you all the best pictures from the 2016 Six Nations Championship, where England achieved their first Grand Slam since 2003
"I always thought green top was good for you because it's reduced fat but they gave me licence to have blue top and the odd day I'd have that gold top stuff, the one with 1,000 calories in it. Maybe I won't carry on with that but it's something I'll keep doing because it's really tasty."
The backline features Elliot Daly on the wing which Jones claimed was always the plan for France rather than a response to Jack Nowell's enforced absence from training for two days this week.
Whatever the truth of that, Nowell's presence on a bench which also includes James Haskell gives England impact late on when they believe their superior fitness will decide matters.
"I said to the team today, I don't think anyone in the world has got a stronger bench than we have. We can finish the game strong with those guys," said Jones.
Bold, challenging talk of the type Jones is demanding from his players. "That is the attitude we want in this team," he said. "It's nice if people like you but for us, our business is to win games of rugby, because that's how we make rugby popular."