Courtney Lawes believes England need to grow and become stronger as they prepare to host South Africa in their autumn Test series.
Lawes (left) will captain England against the Springboks at Twickenham on Saturday, while Sam Underhill has been named as the replacement for injured prop Joe Marler.
South Africa have not lost in London since 2008 and have not visited Twickenham since 1998. England have won four of their last five clashes with the Boks but concede they need to be more clinical.
“There is a lot that has happened this year for the team,” said Lawes. “We have grown in all aspects of our game. Our development and growth is getting better each week. We have had some big wins this year, we have had some big losses and we have had some really heart-warming wins.
“We are taking some good steps forward, we’ve worked hard on that. We’re getting better in all areas of our game and we have got to keep working at that. We are in the camp for the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and we want to be the best team in the world. We want to represent England and make sure that we are doing the very best we can do. We know how good South Africa are and we have some massive challenges this week.
“We have got some big weeks ahead of us. We are very young, there is a lot that we have got to grow, there is a lot that we have got to get used to.
“Obviously Saturday is going to be a big game for us, the home teams have done really well recently against the Boks and we are going to have to come out firing and be clinical to get the win.”
England must beat South Africa to progress to next weekend’s Autumn internationals showdown with the Springboks in Newcastle.