Maro Itoje believes England will come back stronger than ever after a challenging 2018 Natwest 6 Nations campaign saw the defending champions finish fifth.
The lock started all five games as Eddie Jones’ side lost their last three matches against Scotland, France and Grand Slam champions Ireland.
However, the Saracens star insists England, who were Grand Slam winners in 2016 and defended the Championship in 2017, will be a better side in the long run.
“Obviously it has been a tough time for us,” said Itoje, who helped his club side to a 24-11 win against Harlequins in his return to Premiership action on Saturday.
“I think we have learnt some good lessons. I think we have learnt some good lessons about ourselves individually and as a group.
“I think in a year or two years’ time we’ll look back at this period and we’ll be grateful that we went through it because I think we are going to come out as a lot better and a lot stronger team as a result.”
Itoje said England are united in their desire to get back to being one of the best teams in world rugby and was full of praise for the “outstanding” coaching staff.
“We’ve got some fantastic coaches,” he said. “We’ve got coaches from Eddie to all of his assistant coaches and the backroom staff are all outstanding.
“I don’t have a bad word to say about any of them, and as a playing staff, we have a lot of quality there so we just need to stick together and in the long run we will be okay.
“It [losing] hasn’t happened to me very often in recent seasons but that is professional sport. You have to take the rough with the smooth.
“But every time I put on an England shirt I am always so excited and I know we’ll be alright in the long run.”