Josh Lewsey, a veteran of the 2005 Lions tour of New Zealand believes England are the team to watch with the 2011 World Cup looming on the horizon.
England have enjoyed a rapid rise in the last year and claimed a notable victory over Australia in the autumn, with Chris Ashton gabbing the headlines for his two-try brace.
And 2003 World Cup winner, Lewsey, has been impressed by England’s potent back-three and believes they can help Martin Johnson’s men continue to flourish.
"Everyone’s talking about Ben Foden, Ashton and Mark Cueto – and there are other guys in the wings like Ugo Monye, Dave Strettle and Paul Sackey – and their quality’s never been in doubt,” said Lewsey.
"These guys haven’t become better players overnight.
"The whole environment is right, the team are creating opportunities and inevitably these guys are running in tries, getting the ball in their hands and the more that happens, the more your confidence gets up and you end up playing well as a result.
“We saw at the 2007 World Cup the turnaround you can make if you get the right mindset and that mindset change has occurred.
“Johnno and the coaches have got the environment right and that is palpable.
"Do I think England will win in 2011? If I was New Zealand I would be looking over my shoulder because you just get the feeling that the sleeping giant is beginning to wake.
"Fundamentally the environment is right and you can see the guys enjoy what they’re doing. We saw the running game and the mindset to take them on and we can live with the best in the world."