The 2014 Six Nations is a pressure cooker for any and all of the coaches involved, but Stuart Lancaster perhaps bears the heaviest load of all heading into the competition.
England's steady progress under Lancaster's reign has been commendable but a potent selection of telling injuries would seek to have their impact on the country's hopes of ending Wales' two-year grip on the tournament.
In order to ensure one doesn't miss a minute of the campaign, read on for all the necessary viewing information covering all of England's matches over the next seven weeks, as well as a breakdown of the most important matchups.
|England's 2014 Six Nations Schedule|
|Saturday, Feb. 1||5 p.m. GMT/12 p.m. ET||France vs, England||Stade de France||BBC One||BBC Sport website|
|Saturday, Feb. 8||5 p.m. GMT/12 p.m. ET||Scotland vs. England||Murrayfield||BBC One||BBC Sport website|
|Saturday, Feb. 22||4 p.m. GMT/11 a.m. ET||England vs. Ireland||Twickenham||BBC One||BBC Sport website|
|Sunday, Mar. 9||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||England vs. Wales||Twickenham||BBC One||BBC Sport website|
|Saturday, Mar. 15||12 p.m. GMT/7 a.m. ET||Italy vs. England||Stadio Olimpico||BBC One||BBC Sport website|
England's Key Clashes
France vs. England, Feb. 1
Philippe Saint-Andre's France are hardly the flying force of days gone by, but Les Bleus are steadily climbing the rungs of the European hierarchy after finishing bottom of the pile in last year's Six Nations.
A strong finish to 2013 was summed up by tight losses to New Zealand and South Africa during the autumn internationals, each of which came by single-digit margins.
A trip to the Stade de France in Round 1 promises to derail any hopes England might have had for silverware from the beginning, considering Wales and Ireland will also be considerable tests in the weeks to come.
One area worth watching in Paris will be the centres, where Top 14 stars Wesley Fofana, Mathieu Bastareaud and Gael Fickou can hope to run ragged what's likely the weakest area in Lancaster's squad.
Scotland vs. England, Feb. 8
A fixture that could totally depend on just how the English fare in their opening encounter, Lancaster's men will move toward Murrayfield in Round 2 with either morale in abundance thanks to a defeat of the French, or with their moods in the gutter after a loss.
Regardless of that result, however, facing Scott Johnson's Scotland at Murrayfield isn't a task that many have found to be simple over the last 12 months.
Of the six teams to have visited the Scottish in 2013, only Wales, South Africa and Australia managed to succeed in their endeavours, Johnson's side proving last year that they're on the attacking rise with wins at home against Ireland, Italy and Japan.
Conditions will have their say up north, where a wet and windy atmosphere will lead either side to rely more on their set piece work, a turn of events that could easily shift in the Scots' favour if England let things slip.
England vs. Wales, March 9.
The fixture that decided last year's Six Nations will come back to Twickenham for this year's matchup, with both sides again entering the competition with high hopes of coming out on top of the pile.
Rugby World's Charlie Morgan recently commented on how vital this clash will be:
A 27-point margin may have separated the triumphant Welsh from their victims 11 months ago, but England have since come along in their development.
All stats and figures accounted for, a meeting of this quality can quite easily go in anyone's favour on the day, with any number of variables leading an eventual victor to the promised land.
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