England players have taken confidence from Lions' showing in New Zealand, says Anthony Watson
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 26/08/17 10:50pm
Anthony Watson believes England have learned not to put the All Blacks up on a pedestal thanks to the British and Irish Lions.
Bath wing Watson played a crucial role in the Lions' hugely-creditable drawn Test series in New Zealand this summer.
The 23-year-old feels it is a shame England will not face the back-to-back world champions until November 2018, but insisted that Eddie Jones' side have already benefited from the Lions' summer exploits.
"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.
"So from our point of view it's definitely going to give us confidence."
Watson's raw pace and his elusive strike running troubled the All Blacks at times, with Lions boss Warren Gatland praising his attacking instincts.
The former London Irish back revealed England boss Jones has told him to raise his game on the speed front however.
Jones has already insisted England will be happy to rest top stars in their autumn Tests if the gruelling schedule including the summer's Lions tour takes a heavy toll.
Watson missed a host of England matches last term due to a broken jaw then hamstring trouble, and so admitted he would hope not to be among those rested in November.
"I had a one-to-one meeting with Eddie (Jones) at the Lensbury; he still wants me to improve on my speed so I'll keep on doing that," said Watson.
"I can fully understand it (plans to rest England players in November), the seasons are tough in how many games you play, it's very tough mentally and physically.
"I can fully understand where Eddie's coming from, but for me personally, having missed so many internationals last year I wouldn't want to miss any if the chance came around."