Croft hails new England work ethic
Tom Croft has revealed how a radical shift in the attitude of the England squad since the World Cup debacle has helped take his game to new heights.
The Leicester flanker rekindled memories of his starring role on the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour with a commanding all-round performance in England's 24-22 victory over France on Sunday.
Croft said: "You work a little bit harder now because you are surrounded by guys who are doing the exact same thing. You don't want to be the guy not doing it and letting the side down."
He added: "Guys are setting benchmarks and you want to supersede that benchmark. It has a ratchet effect on people working as hard as they can, to lift the whole team up. It is about trying to be the guy to inspire."
Lancaster and forwards coach Graham Rowntree are currently only temporarily in charge of England, but Croft believes they are beginning to draw the best from him.
And the 26-year-old added his voice to those of captain Chris Robshaw and other senior players who have endorsed Lancaster's application to be England's permanent head coach.
"Stuart set the guidelines in Leeds (at England's pre-tournament training camp) and the players have bought into that, taking ownership of the team," Croft said.
"That desire shows in our performances. We have three away wins and that has got to say something in terms of how things are going.
"It is not down to the players to decide (who will be appointed as head coach), but things are going exceptionally well and the players are happy.
"It is nice to have the same faces and the same structure so we know what is happening."