Steve Borthwick’s side lost three of their four warm-up matches for this tournament, including a first-ever defeat by Fiji in their most recent game at Twickenham, and headed into the tournament in France ranked eighth in the world.
The serious business got underway for England last weekend, when they took on Argentina at the Stade Velodrome in a Pool D opener.
George Ford kicked all the points for Borthwick’s men, three quick-fire first-half drop goals and six penalties in a 27-10 victory that came despite Tom Curry’s early red card.
England then beat Japan 34-12 in Nice, before a clash against debutants Chile that they will be expected to win with minimal fuss. The focus will then shift to the final pool match against Samoa.
On paper at least, England are on the right side of the draw. They cannot face the likes of New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa or France until the semi-finals.
England fixtures in full
Saturday, September 9
England 27-10 Argentina
Sunday, September 17
England 34-12 Japan
Saturday, September 23
England vs Chile (Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 4:45pm, ITV1)
Saturday, October 7
England vs Samoa (Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 4:45pm, ITV1)