Ugo Monye backs England for victory against Australia
Last Updated: 31/10/13 3:37pm
Monye: impressed with England's strength in depth
Ugo Monye believes England can win their QBE Internationals against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.
England's first task is against Australia on Saturday where Joel Tomkins will make his England debut.
The former league star, who plays for Saracens, will partner Billy Twelvetrees, and former England and Harlequins winger Ugo Monye says he needs to take his chances.
"Tomkins has a great opportunity to show us what he can do - he's a real talent but he's still learning the union trade," Monye told skysports.com
"Manu Tuilagi is out injured and this could be a real chance for him to put pressure on Manu and give England something to think about. That's a good thing. though.
"[Stuart] Lancaster wants all his players to be competing for places. All the players in the squad at the moment are playing at the very top of their game. They have nothing to fear and are in a great place at the moment.
"I don't think it is for me to say how many they should win. All I can say is that I have high expectations for the guys - for them to win three is certainly within their reach."
Monye, who was one of the stars of the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa, believes that the Lions experience of 2013 will have a huge effect - not just on the players who went, but on the whole squad.
"You cannot imagine what having that Lions experience does to you - as a player and as a person," said Monye.
"Firstly it takes you right out of your comfort zone; you need to strip away everything you know, bare yourself and get to know some players who you have never met before.
You also need to learn of these players - Owen Farrell to learn off Neil Jenkins is such an opportunity and you cannot buy that.
"The Lions also tour for several weeks which we don't do anymore so you learn to become a good team-mate, too.
"You put yourself under the highest pressure on a Lions tour - at club level if you lose you can make the right the following week, on a Lions tour you may not ever have that opportunity again.
"That pressure that makes you grow as a man and as a rugby player. To grow is one thing but then what you do with that it is important, too.
"I'm 31 now and there are some youngsters coming through - but if they are not performing then they won't get picked."
"You need to share that with the players who were not on the tour so that they can grow and reach the standard you have achieved - hopefully we will see that this autumn."
Monye may not be in Stuart Lancaster's plans at the moment but he has not given up on making the England squad for the 2015 World Cup.
"You have to have belief in your abilities," explained Monye, who would love to add to his 14 England caps.
"There are some great wingers coming through but if I get another chance to show what I can do on the international stage then I will take it.
"I'm 31 now and there are some youngsters coming through - but if they are not performing then they won't get picked.
"All I can do is play to the best of my abilities for my club and hopefully prove that I still have something to offer England."
Ugo Monye was speaking on behalf of QBE, the business insurance specialist, ahead of the QBE Internationals - www.QBErugby.com