There have been many false dawns before, I know, but could it just be that England are at the start of a roll? We’ve seen two matches so far and both were significant. I think I am right in saying that the last time England won in Cardiff they went on to win the Grand Slam and the World Cup. But their massive victory earlier today against Italy was, I think, just as much of an omen. As their match against Ireland in Rome showed last week, Italy are no walkover. Everybody expected a tough first half, ground out between the forwards, before England might start to impose themselves, but in the end they put Italy to the knife from the outset. This had more than a little to do with the dynamic coupling of Toby Flood and the exuberant Chris Ashton. Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of this renaissance – if that is what it is – is that England’s game is fun to watch. With two more home matches before them, they must fancy their chances. Tomorrow’s match in Dublin will tell them who their rivals at the top of the table are most likely to be.