England assistant coach Andy Farrell believes that the biggest challenge facing the new squad and management team will be to gel as a unit in the limited time they have together before the Six Nations kicks off.
Farrell, who will assist interim coach Stuart Lancaster along with forwards coach Graham Rowntree, has plenty of faith in the players selected in the senior squad on Wednesday but stressed the fact that they do not really have the time to build a team when he spoke to this website in Stellenbosch this week.
He said: "It is quite a unique situation really, we have a short period of time with a new squad and a new management and we have got eight or nine days of training before the Scotland week.
"That is a challenge in itself and we just need to try and gel the boys together as soon as possible, get them to play for one another, make sure that the environment is right and ensure that we give a good account of ourselves," added Farrell.
The Saracens mentor said that he believes that the squad is nicely balanced with a host of proven performers and enough new faces to keep the old guard on their toes.
He explained: "The squad is picked on boys who perform week-in and week-out, who we know can perform at that level, plus some boys who we want to see in that environment to see whether they can play at that level.
"We are very confident that they can and we are looking forward to getting everybody together to try and form a team as quick as possible," said Farrell.
Although England's caretakers coaches may not have as much time as they would like to prove that they can take the team forward, there will be little for them to lose in the Six Nations campaign which should make for an intriguing tournament for the defending champions.
By Michael de Vries
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