England's Sarah Hunter brings us her view ahead of round one of the women's rugby 6 Nations.
"Its less than a week until the Six Nations gets under way and the excitement is already building. Were going into our first game against Scotland after a very good preparation weekend. It is a very tough opening game for the squad away in Edinburgh. The Scots are always a difficult proposition on home soil with a loyal crowd that get behind them. We are expecting it to be a very physical and challenging encounter.
This years Six Nations will undoubtedly be our toughest yet. We have 3 tough away games (Scotland, Italy and France) which is hard enough at the best of times but with each country improving since last year means that every game will be a very difficult prospect each posing very different challenges.
Although I believe it will be it our toughest yet I think it will also be one of the most exciting as there are some very special matches to look forward to. We will again be getting to play at the home of rugby when we take on Wales at Twickenham. England v Wales is always a heated battle and playing at Twickenham with it live on the BBC will no doubt raise the pressure even more. Twickenham has become a bit of a fortress for the England Womens team and we hope to continue this.
We then travel to France and this should be a big game for us. France away is always a massive occasion and we have a few scores to settle after losing there in October in the Autumn Tests.
Last up we have Ireland on St. Patricks Day which again will be another very exciting game. The Irish are a very patriotic nation which sets up the final game to be a bit of spectacle. We are expecting the Irish to be right up for it.
The squad is very buoyant after winning the autumn Series against New Zealand and cant wait to pull on the white shirt again. However, we are under no illusion that because we beat the world champions last time out that we can afford to take our foot of the pedal. In fact it is the complete opposite of that; we are working harder than ever to keep improving and becoming the best as individuals and a team. The coaches are challenging us and asking questions of us all the time to maintain high standards and push the rugby boundary.
This years Six Nations is as important as any other and we have to be at our best in each and every game throughout the competition in order to retain the trophy. As players we cant wait to get an opportunity to do that and that all starts this Sunday against Scotland."
Hunter starts at number 8 this weekend for England against Scotland.