New England captain Pat Sanderson has claimed this summer's series with Australia will be more difficult than when the two sides last met.

The Wallabies were humbled when they visited Twickenham last November and although the margin of England's victory was only ten points, the hosts' superiority, particularly in the scrum, was clear for all to see.

But with a new coaching regime in charge, former Bath director of rugby John Connolly has taken over from Eddie Jones, and a more positive atmosphere pervading the country's set-up, Sanderson thinks next month's two test matches will be a much harder prospect than many are suggesting.

"It is going to be a tough three games, no matter what," the Worcester Warrior said. "Their Super 14 teams have come to the fore this season and they will be stronger for that fact.

"Then you have to remember that we have only ever won two series over there and one of those was with a World Cup-winning side."

He is unfazed by the fact that many of Andy Robinson's first-choice players have been rested, including current skipper Martin Corry and many front-row starters and he rejects the theory that this tour bears similarities to the one in 1998 when Clive Wood-ward's men lost all four internationals and conceded nearly 200 points in the process.

That trip, became known as the Tour of Hell, Sanderson is adamant this time the team has enough ability to avoid a similar fate.

"It is a very exciting opportunity for us," he said. "There is an enormous amount of talent in this side.

"The last few weeks of the Premiership have probably been the most exciting in the competition's history and we are touring with many of the players who have made that possible.

"It's a tour to Australia, that's the only common thing.

We have a far stronger, better and fitter squad than in '98. The whole back line excites me. The form Mike Catt has been in is incredible and the pace we have out wide with guys like James Simpson-Daniel is going to be great to play with."

Sanderson was part of the '98 squad that lost 73-0 to Australia and claims that experience made him a better player.

"From a personal perspective, there are a lot of lessons I learned down there. I was a young man - only just 20 - but the experience I had has stood me in good stead.

"I got very carried away with wanting to play for England and lost sight of the fact that it was about what I was doing each week that was important.

"That was very difficult to learn and it's not something you can understand just by someone telling you - it's something you have to realise on your own but now it's a simple position. You have to concentrate on the match in front of you and if you do that and do it well, then the future takes care of itself."