The Bath wing Anthony Watson has said that he thinks that England has learned not to put the All Blacks on a pedestal thanks to the performance from the British and Irish Lions.
Watson was an essential part of the Lions’ squad that drew a Test series in New Zealand earlier in the summer and he thinks it is a shame that England will not be facing the world champions until November next year. However, he insists that Eddie Jones’ side has already benefitted from the Lion’s success.
“I think the Lions can give us a lot of confidence for sure, there were a lot of England players in that team and in the squad,” said Watson.
“Even just being around the environment you definitely learn a lot and that will give the boys confidence. They (New Zealand) have definitely been put up on a pedestal for a while now, so I think it has helped to bring them back down a little bit and make you realise they are mere mortals.”
Dylan Hartley, the England captain, echoed his sentiments saying that the Lion’s draw can boost England’s chances of becoming the world’s best Test team. Hartley said that he watched the Test matches this summer and said that they gave him hope of England overtaking the world’s top ranked team.
Speaking recently he said, “The Lions did a fantastic job and they showed that New Zealand are the best, they’re number one in the world and they’re there for a reason but, with the series being a draw, it showed that they are beatable”.
There were a number of England players on the Lions tour and both players have said that this will be a huge help in their preparation for next year’s encounter.