Martin Johnson wants "very exciting" England to impress ahead of 2023 World Cup

England 's experience in winning Rugby World Cups is limited to their 2003 triumph, and Martin Johnson holds unique insight on the topic after captaining his country to that crown.

The Red Rose placed second behind South Africa in 2019 to match France's record for runner-up finishes (three), with high hopes the country can end its World Cup curse when the tournament comes to France in 2023.

Preparations for that contest will soon begin in earnest, and head coach Eddie Jonessprang a number of surprises with his selection for a recent 45-man training squad ahead of the autumn internationals.

Senior members such as Billy Vunipola, Elliot Daly and George Ford were missing from the mini camp, but Johnson is assured England have a promising blend of prestige and potential.

"I think they're in an interesting place. They've still got a very experienced squad of guys who are young enough to be there in two years' time," Johnson told Sky Sports News.

"There are some young guys coming through, so I think hopefully they've got a very, very exciting squad with some guys trying to prove themselves and get into the team and other guys trying to stay there and say 'No, no, we've got one more shot at trying to win a World Cup'."

Jones included a total of eight uncapped players in the recent training squad, including prospects such as Harlequins winger Louis Lynagh, Sale Sharks scrum-half Raffi Quirke and Northampton starlet Ollie Sleightholme.

England will to some extent still feel the bruises left by an embarrassing 2021 Six Nations campaign, wherein they finished fifth with only two wins from their five games.

That marked the nation's worst result in the competition since 1987 when frequent whipping boys Italy were still yet to join.

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Leicester Tigers legend Johnson highlighted the need to identify the talents of tomorrow but stressed the risk of leaving a squad light if a coach concentrates too much on future success.

Less experienced Harlequins dynamo Marcus Smith, for example, has been included at the expense of Tigers talisman and 77-cap veteran George Ford, who remains confident his best years are still to come.

"For the coaches, [the objective is] picking the right balance of players to give guys an opportunity, but also you've got to keep on winning.

"You can't sacrifice results for the future too much, you need to keep on winning. Or get back to winning in England's case!"

Jones' men will face Tonga, Australia and South Africa during the month of November, with those latter two fixtures in particular set to give the Red Rose a reminder of where they sit in the international hierarchy.

The Wallabies recently impressed with a rejuvenated runner-up finish at the Rugby Championship, while reigning world champions South Africa settled for third but beat world No. 1 New Zealand in their final game.

While there may be two years to go until the next World Cup, Johnson said now is the time for players to start making an impressing and leave the coach in no doubt that they deserve to be picked.

England may have finished second in Japan, but it was only recently that the country marked its six-year anniversary since their all-time worst World Cup performance on home soil in 2015.

Strides have been made under Jones since then, and with new talent emerging on the international stage, hope is building that this squad has the potential to finally end England's wait for the Webb Ellis Cup.

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