Rugby World Cup winner and former England head coach Martin Johnson believes England lock Courtney Lawes is finally ready to fulfil his world-class potential.
Johnson handed the colossal lock his international debut eight years ago and has remained a big fan of his since.
“I thought he played really well,” Johnson, speaking at a Land Rover event at Staines rugby club, said.
“He used to come out of the line to make some big hits but I just think his all-round game has improved so much.
“I thought he carried hard and got over the gainline for England as well as making some big hits. People rave about numbers but sometimes one big impact can change a game as well.
““I think he is coming up to where he could be. He’s a very good athlete, a different sort of athlete. He has got potential to be a world-class player absolutely.
“He has got a number of gifts. he is very different. In many ways, he is one of the most gifted players in that position that we have seen.”