Cueto: Exciting times ahead
England wing looking forward as 2011 World Cup looms
Last Updated: July 7, 2010 5:32pm
Wing Mark Cueto believes England's second Test triumph over Australia has given the squad renewed confidence as preparations for the 2011 World Cup gather pace.
"To beat an in-form Australia in their own back yard was a huge result for us, one that will give the team a lot of confidence."
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Martin Johnson's men bounced back from their demoralising defeat to the Wallabies in the first Test by producing an outstanding 21-20 victory in Sydney a week later.
It was their first success against Tri-Nations opposition since 2007 with the contribution of youngsters including Ben Youngs, Courtney Lawes and Chris Ashton adding to the significance.
Despite the morale-boosting victory, Cueto, a Rugby Football Union YAZOO Tag Rugby ambassador, insists England must start delivering consistent performances.
"Winning the second Test was massive and ultimately it was a successful tour," said the Sale winger.
"To beat an in-form Australia in their own back yard was a huge result for us, one that will give the team a lot of confidence.
"Now we need to kick on from here and start building for the World Cup next year.
"I don't know if this is the start of a new era, but these are certainly exciting times for England.
"What has let us down in the past has been stringing together back-to-back performances.
"In an ideal world the autumn internationals would have come the week after we beat Australia because on the back of a result like that you feel like you can play and defeat anyone."
England face a punishing autumn schedule when they face all three Tri-Nations giants and Samoa.
And Cueto accepts he and his team-mates will have a clearer picture of how much progress they have made after those fixtures.
"It would be awesome with the World Cup a year away to get four big results at home," he said.
"We have to have that mentality, especially at Twickenham, and it's in November that we'll have a better idea of where we are.
"We always knew that we had the potential and we also have belief in what we're trying to do.
"Beating Australia confirmed what we already believed and has allowed us to gain more confidence."
"There are a few young guys who have come through and shone on tour, the likes of Ben Youngs and Courtney Lawes," added Cueto.
"They did very well for their clubs last season and have taken that confidence into the England set-up.
"They've added freshness to the team and the team has benefited from that.
"When these young players get involved there's almost no fear and that's been important."