Martin Johnson is not sure if Eddie Jones' England team are capable of winning the Six Nations. The former England coach and captain has admitted there are too many uncertainties surrounding the team to make a worthwhile prediction about their chances in the tournament.
"It is all up in the air with a new coach but [that] is the way it has been for the last couple of years. I do not know why that is, whether guys cannot hold their form because of the games they play now," Johnson said, according to The Guardian.
"Who knows what state the England team is in? There is not an England team until he picks one. You do not know what Eddie and his coaching team are thinking, which is healthy for players. As a player you have to bring what you bring, gain the guy's trust and find your way forward.
"That's where England are, having to find their way forward in all aspects. I do not know how responsive Eddie is to feedback from players but they have to play well, get themselves in the squad and the team and they might have a chance to go to New Zealand with the Lions next year. We need guys to come in and play so well that the coach goes: 'That's easy.'"
However, Johnson admitted the uncertainty surrounding England has also created a sense of excitement. He said, too, it is important that all of the home nations progress during the Six Nations, having been overshadowed by their counterparts from the Southern Hemisphere at the World Cup.
"The south are ahead of the north and the home nations have work to do. It is a concern and we have to improve. Losing is not much fun. You want to be successful," he explained.
"I am surprised England have won the Six Nations only once since 2003 but they were very consistent under Stuart Lancaster, losing one game a year. Eddie Jones will not be judged on his first year: it will be a slightly new team and everyone will be excited to see how they go. The tournament is normally good after a World Cup because the pressure is off."