Head coach Eddie Jones has stated his belief that his team is still evolving after England got together for the start of a three-day training camp.
There is much on the horizon for Jones’ men over the next 12 months, with next year’s Rugby World Cup, the 2019 Six Nations and November’s autumn internationals.
In six weeks’ time England play host to South Africa (3 November), New Zealand (10 November), Japan (17 November) and Australia (24 November) at Twickenham Stadium.
Jones will name his squad for the four-Test series on 18 October, and says that maintaining the team’s identity is one of his key targets.
“It’s about being English, not being a copy of other teams,” commented Jones.
“You’ve got New Zealand there which is the benchmark of international rugby and what everyone tries to do is copy that.
“You can’t copy something, you’ve got to come up with your own way of doing it and particularly for us it’s important that we keep being an English team.
“That’s not to say that we don’t need to keep evolving, the game evolves as we’ve see in the Rugby Championship.
“The rugby has been considerably different than it was in the June Tests, so you keep on tactically evolving, keep on building your squad and keep on getting closer to how you want to play at the World Cup.”
One way in which England look assured of evolving is through changes in the coaching department, where Jones recently welcomed John Mitchell in as defence coach, while confirming that Scott Wisemantel will continue as attack coach.
Wisemantel initially took up the position for the summer tour to South Africa, while Mitchell leaves his executive of rugby role at South African Super Rugby side, the Bulls.
Jones added: “John Mitchell is an outstanding rugby coach, he coached the All Blacks and USA.
“He also coached Super Rugby in Australia and South Africa as well as New Zealand, so he brings a wealth of experience.
“To have another senior coach in the coaching box is a great advantage for our team.”
With Jones positive on his coaching appointments the 58-year-old is also pleased to welcome back several players into his 36-man training squad.
Leicester Tigers centre Manu Tuilagi has not played international rugby since March 2016 due to injury problems, and wing Jack Nowell has also returned from injury after missing the summer tour.
“It’s the first time in the three years I’ve been in England that Manu’s (Tuilagi) been fit,” Jones added.
“He’s put together a series of games and we’re looking forward to him continuing on that run. He’s got the opportunity to come in and show us what he’s got.
“We haven’t seen Jack (Nowell) for a long time – since the Lions series he’s had an interrupted time with injuries so it’s great to have him back.
“He’s a fantastic work-rate player and has great feet and is also a great team man.”