Matt Dawson is confident England can makeit two Six Nations Grand Slams in a row even without World Cup-winning skipperMartin Johnson.
Johnson, 33, announced his retirement from international rugby onSaturday but Dawson believes the strength in depth in coach Clive Woodwardssquad means they can overcame the loss.
"No one is going to fill Martins boots," said thescrum-half. "But we have become more resilient in the past couple ofseasons and can perform just as well without two or three major players because wehave such strength in depth.
"Whether its Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio or PhilVickery absent - we can cover and cover well.
"A lot will be made of players retiring in the next season orso - but that will only help bring through the next generation and a new squad willtake shape for the World Cup in France."
But he admitted the opposition would be itching to beat the worldchampions.
Johnson led England to the Grand Slam last year but was missingwhen they crashed against Ireland in 2001 and Scotland in 2000.
Will Carling's England team was the last side to win successiveGrand Slams, in 1991 and 1992.
Dawson is one of the names in the frame to take over as captainwhen England kick-off this years Six Nations campaign against Italy inRome on February 15th.
But Woodward has to manage a crop of injuries. Jonny Wilkinson, Richard Hill, Lewis Moody, Julian White, MikeTindall, Iain Balshaw, Mike Catt and Martin Corry are all currently out. And Wilkinsons back-up at fly-half Charlie Hodgson is doubtfulafter injuring his left knee again. Hodgson, 23, missed the World Cup after rupturing ligaments in theknee last March.
Wilkinson has played just 53 minutes since the World Cup becauseof a shoulder problem and his comeback could be hampered by a lack ofgames.