Owen Farrell is only 22 years old and yet he is already a better leader in the England team than Jonny Wilkinson ever was – according to the World Cup winner himself.
Farrell, who has grown in stature and maturity since his time this summer on tour with the British & Irish Lions, has impressed in defeat against France and victory over Scotland in the last two weeks.
And with a World Cup on home soil on the horizon in 2015, Stuart Lancaster’s side appear to be riding an upward curve towards the tournament.
And Farrell, who came off the bench for the Lions in the decisive third Test, is a huge part of what the Red Rose are building according to Wilkinson.
“You need guys to lead others and that's a role he will play probably better than I ever did," said Wilkinson, a Lions tourist in 2001 and 2005.
“He's blossoming into a major leader in that team and when it comes to World Cups that's what you need.
“He's shown a mental toughness to date that has been phenomenal.
“He's doing all the right things, doing them well and getting better.”