It is been a tough month for all the home nations but hope springs eternal in a British and Irish Lions year.
England are trying hard to shrug off the ominous news that Dan Carter should be fit to face them at Twickenham, insisting that the All Blacks are beatable this weekend.
Stuart Lancaster has responded to Saturday's frustrating defeat by South Africa by backing his captain, Chris Robshaw, and promoting Owen Farrell to the starting line-up to face New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday.
When Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22 it appears he had English rugby in mind.
Exactly nine years have elapsed since the Rugby World Cup final win of 2003 and Stuart Lancaster's latest team selection underlines just how far England have to go to replicate that feat.
The Harlequins full-back Mike Brown is set to start on the wing for England when they unveil their side to face South Africa at Twickenham.
Warren Gatland goes into his ninth Six Nations in charge of Wales confident that his largely unchanged squad can build on a brave World Cup campaign in adversity and keep top players away from the chequebooks of leading English and French clubs.
Eddie Jones’s first squad selection as head coach will leave no one in any doubt that England are setting off in a fresh direction. A raft of highly rated newcomers led by Maro Itoje and Jack Clifford are poised to sweep aside several of Stuart Lancaster’s loyal servants, with a third of last autumn’s World Cup squad facing omission from Jones’s initial plans.
After the undoubted disappointments of 2015 England rugby fans have some very good reasons to be cheerful as the new year begins.