Launchbury: England on the up

England forward Joe Launchbury believes they have put last year's heavy defeat to Wales behind them as they prepare for the Six Nations.

Stuart Lancaster's side, requiring victory to claim the Grand Slam, were beaten 30-3 at the Millennium Stadium to lead to calls for the side to be drastically altered.

But England enjoyed a successful autumn series, with wins against Australia and Argentina and a narrow defeat to New Zealand boosting confidence in the camp.

Wasps lock Launchbury insists England possess a pack capable of competing with top teams and is keen for them to take their from the autumn into the Six Nations.

"I'd say we've removed any lingering doubt over our physicality, but the question will continue to be asked," he said.

"We went to Argentina and played well there. We had three tough autumn matches and don't think anyone could say we lacked bite in those matches.

"I'd like to think we're well and truly past that and have grown as a team.

"We had one day in Cardiff when it didn't go as we would have wanted, but since then the focus has been on us improving.

"Hopefully we showed where we are in the autumn and we'll continue to do that in the Six Nations."

England kick off their campaign in Paris on Saturday against a France side still reeling from finishing bottom of the Six Nations table in 2013.

Launchbury remains wary of the threat posed by Phillipe Saint-Andre but is in confident mood going into the much-anticipated clash at the Stade de France.

"A lot of people are tipping France to be champions," he added.

"We know what a great side they are and their club teams have gone well in Europe on the whole.

"We're going to Paris first up so it's a tough game, but we're quietly confident about where we are."