SCOTT Mitchell is anticipating a "cut-throat" competition when he captains England in this weekend's Six Nations Cup in Wales.

Fresh from being crowned national singles champion last week, Mitchell will spearhead a five-strong Three Lions team aiming to retain a title they have won in each of the past three years.

He is acutely aware, however, that England are the team all the others want to beat – and his is a scalp opponents would like to add to their CVs.

Mitchell told the Daily Echo: "This is a really cut-throat format and we have to deal with being red-hot favourites as well.

"Being chosen in a five-man team is an achievement in itself, but you really want to go there and do the job you have been selected to do.

"I am very proud to be England captain and it would be a huge honour to pick up that trophy.

"I have some real momentum behind me after winning last week. But it also means I have a huge target on my back – we all do in our team. England are the dominant nation in world darts.

"As soon as you put on one of those red and white shirts everybody else wants to beat you."

England are grouped with Northern Ireland and Wales, with the top two teams progressing to Sunday's semi-finals, where they will meet one of Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Holland. The final is played later the same day.

There is extra incentive for Mitchell at the tournament's Merthyr Tydfil location, where he will also defend the Six Nations singles title he won last year.

He acknowledged plenty has to go right for him to return home a twin-champion on Sunday night – and, when pressed – identified Holland, winners in 2013, as the greatest threat to England's hegemony.

"I look at the guys in each team and think any nation can win it," said Mitchell. "It is very difficult to identify one particular danger, but Holland is probably the one you need to look out for.

"The singles is extremely tough, the England players can draw each other and it is the best five from six different countries.

"You cannot afford a slow start, you have to be ready from the off.

"It is a case of trying to get through those first games, before developing some momentum."