Kyle Sinckler believes England's struggles at the IRB Junior World Championships could be a "blessing in disguise".
England Under-20s head into the Six Nations - starting against Scotland on Friday - on the back of a disappointing tournament in the summer.
Having reached the final in 2011 - where they lost to New Zealand - and gone on to win the Six Nations crown, hopes were high that England could mount a serious challenge in South Africa.
However a pool defeat to the hosts ended their hopes of reaching the semi-finals, while they then lost to Ireland in the play-off semi-finals for the minor placings.
They did record a win over Australia to finish seventh - as well as thumping Italy and edging out the Irish earlier in the competition - and Harlequins prop Sinckler feels the current crop of players are stronger as a result.
"I think losing at the Junior World Championship could have been a blessing in disguise for us," Sinckler told Sky Sports.
"As young players, in our first year of Under-20s and professional rugby, we will have learned a lot from it.
"Being away for four weeks at the tournament and having to pick ourselves up after to a big game against South Africa will stand us in good stead for the future. It was a good experience."
Sinckler scored two tries at the tournament as he added to his growing reputation. The 19-year-old has already made eight appearances for Quins and has been tipped to follow club-mate Joe Marler into the full England squad in the future.
However, for now Sinckler is happy to bide his time and continue working hard on his game.
"I know the coaches have got a good plan in place for me," he added. "I keep talking to John Kingston and Tony Diprose as I know it is important that I stay grounded.
"We've a lot of good props at the club and I know that as a prop the older I get, the better I will get. However I also don't want to get to 28 having not made it.
"I will keep learning from Joe Marler, James Johnston - while he is still at the club - and Joe Gray so when I do come off the bench or start then I can make an impact."
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