Henry Slade hailed his burgeoning partnership with Manu Tuilagi after dotting down twice to help England topple Grand Slam winners Ireland in Dublin.
Lining up together for the first ever time in the Red Rose midfield, the new partnership combined well throughout, with Slade pouncing on a smart Jonny May kick just after the hour for a crucial score and then intercepting an errant Johnny Sexton pass to seal the victory.
And speaking after the impressive win, the Exeter Chiefs centre admitted he had enjoyed his first taste of action alongside the bulldozing Tuilagi who was making his first England start since 2014.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever had the chance to play with Manu Tuilagi,” Slade said. “I really enjoyed playing with him and who knows? Maybe we can carry on.
“It’s a great feeling coming over here and getting a win. We dug in today. We had a lot of defending to do. We’ve put in a big shift over the last couple of weeks in camp.
“We knew exactly how we wanted to play and we executed it perfectly. The half-backs controlled the game well and everyone put themselves on the line.”
Slade’s exploits also drew plaudits from England head coach Eddie Jones, who described his display as ‘outstanding’ while also reserving praise for fellow try-scorer Elliot Daly.
“They’re both good players,” Jones said. “I haven’t seen a back player that doesn’t make a mistake. We want them to try things and I thought both of their performances tonight were outstanding.
“On the back of the Autumn series we had a good base to work from and we were obviously pleased with that performance because we played against a top team today.”