where do we go from here?
IT IS customary after World Cup exits to start talking about building for the next one (although Wales have busted that theory to an extent with their quick-fix approach).
Choosing a team for England 2015 now is obviously compromised by unforeseen events and players who may emerge in the meantime.
There is young talent out there to foster and a core of players like Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Conor Murray, Cian Healy, Sean O'Brien and Jamie Heaslip who can form the nucleus of the challenge in four years' time.
The question is, who replaces the last of what became to be known as 'the golden generation'?
ENGLAND 2015 -- POSSIBLE IRELAND SQUAD
Full-back: Rob Kearney.
Three-quarters: Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble, Keith Earls, Fergus McFadden, Luke Fitzgerald, Andrew Conway, Fionn Carr.
Out-halves: Jonathan Sexton, Ian Madigan.
Scrum-halves: Conor Murray, Tomas O'Leary, Duncan Williams.
Props: Cian Healy, Jamie Hagan, Paddy McAllister, Stewart Maguire.
Hookers: Rory Best (capt), Sean Cronin, Mike Sherry.
Second rows: Donnacha Ryan, Dan Tuohy, Devin Toner, Ian Nagle.
Back-rows: Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip, Stephen Ferris, Dominic Ryan, Willie Faloon, Peter O'Mahony.