On the back of a very successful series win in Australia, Eddie Jones and his England side appear to have righted what appeared to be a sinking ship.
Central to the turnaround has been the re-emergence of senior figures such as Owen Farrell, The Vunipola brothers and current captain Courtney Lawes.
Lawes in particular has been immense for the English, leading through his actions rather than his words.
The towering backrow-cum-second row was viewed as a rather left field option when initially handed the role.
Despite having done a fantastic job in the Autumn series, many expected regular skipper Owen Farrell to take over for the tour of Australia.
Jones however stuck to his guns and doubled down on his decision to stick with Lawes despite Farrell’s protests.
As Lawes performances attested to, Jones was fully vindicated and will head back to the UK with the knowledge that his side have once again turned the corner at the right time ahead of the World Cup.
Farrell too appears to have benefitted by having a little bit less responsibility as he turned in a sensational performance across the series.
Perhaps having someone else make the decisions has taken the pressure off the team’s first choice kicker. Throw into the mix that Farrell is currently bedding down a new combination with the phenom that is Marcus Smith.
Snapshots of Lawes performances have been doing the rounds on social media. In a similar vein to Lawes former Northampton teammate Dylan Hartley, a player with as much edge as Lawes might just be what England need if they are to challenge at next year’s World Cup.
Courtney Lawes, 79 minutes into the last game of a season that started in 1983:
– Tackle on the drift
– Up to counter-ruck with Owen Farrell and back-heel to win the turnover
– On his feet again to carry (after some more work from Joe Heyes at scrum-half 💅) pic.twitter.com/wCYeogQD6K
— Charlie Morgan (@CharlieFelix) July 17, 2022