Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Lewsey: England have turned corner

Josh Lewsey

Josh Lewsey has backed England to be a major threat at next year's Rugby World Cup.

Lewsey, England's 2003 World Cup-winning full-back, was encouraged by the performances of Martin Johnson's developing team during the autumn internationals. England split the ledger with a record 35-18 victory over Australia and a hard-fought 26-13 win against Samoa sandwiched between defeats at the hands of New Zealand and South Africa.

"I think England have finally turned the corner. It has been a long time coming and it was a massive step forward for the English game," said Lewsey.

"Last year they were languishing in eighth place and if you had asked me then (if there was time to turn things around) I would have been a bit worried about it.

"We saw at the 2007 World Cup the turnaround you can make if you get the right mindset - and that mindset change has occurred.

"Last season we were playing a contrived style and it didn't suit us. 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."

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