'Huge excitement: Jamie George on England's start to Autumn Nation Series

England's Jamie George during the captain's run at Twickenham Stadium, London. Picture date: Friday

England's Jamie George during the captain's run at Twickenham Stadium, London. - Credit: PA

Saracens' Jamie George says England’s 69-3 Autumn Nations Series win over Tonga at Twickenham last Saturday showed they're off to a "great start".

The 31-year-old hooker along with his fellow Sarries colleague Maro Itoje were on the hosts' 11-try scoresheet while regular England captain Owen Farrell missed out after his Covid test was later revealed to be a false positive.

The 30-year-old is expected to return to lead the Red Roses out at the London stadium in this Saturday’s (November 13) mouth-watering Cook Cup clash against Australia.

England's Maro Itoje (centre) is tackled before going on to score his side's fourth try of the game

England's Maro Itoje (centre) is tackled before going on to score his side's fourth try of the game during the Autumn Internationals match at Twickenham Stadium. - Credit: PA

George, who scored two tries, believes it was the best start England have made in recent international campaigns.

“Team-wise I thought it was a really good performance,” he said. “It’s probably one of our better performances in the first game of a campaign.

“It can always prove challenging with only a week’s build up with such a new group of players but I though we gelled really well.

“Defensively I thought we looked pretty good and obviously we're trying to put in place a bit more of an attacking style of rugby and I thought we did that in parts.

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“It’s a great start and we’ve realised this is going to be a big step up over the next couple of weeks, but there’s a feeling in the squad that there’s huge excitement around that and the sort of brand of rugby we're going to play against those guys.”

A host of other Saracens players were on international duty over the weekend.

Nick Tompkins appeared in Wales’ 23-18 loss over current world champions South Africa at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

Over in Rome Marco Riccioni started for Italy in their 49-7 defeat against New Zealand, while Eroni Mawi featured in Fiji’s 43-13 success against Spain in Madrid.

England’s Poppy Cleall is tackled by New Zealand’s Les Elder during the Autumn Internationals match

England’s Poppy Cleall is tackled by New Zealand’s Les Elder during the Autumn Internationals match at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton. - Credit: PA

First-time captain Poppy Cleall led England Women to a record-breaking 56-15 victory over world champions New Zealand at Northampton Saint’s Franklins Gardens.

Zoe Harrison was 100% from the tee. Holly Aitchison and Marlie Packer both started while Hannah Botterman and Sarah McKenna were on the bench.

All six are expected to face their colleagues from Canada, Alexandria Ellis and Janna Slevinsky, this Sunday at Twickenham Stoop.

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