This year's Guinness Six Nations may not have gone to plan for Eddie Jones' England - but James Haskell believes a mouth-watering epoch of English rugby is firmly on the horizon.
England slipped to a fifth-place finish in this year's Championship but are now gearing up for a crack at the USA and Canada in front of returning fans at Twickenham this summer.
England Women recently racked up their third Six Nations title on the spin and with grassroots clubs also welcoming back players and supporters too, the buzz is back for Haskell.
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"I think English rugby is in an amazing place," he said.
"I think Eddie Jones is in the process of picking a new England side, he did the same in 2018 and to great success in 2019 in Japan.
"There's real strength in depth and lots of unbelievable players. Every sport has a period of transition and you learn far more from maybe taking a couple of steps back than consistently winning. I am super excited to see what happens with England next.
"Rugby has a buzz about it, I think people have really missed it, you don't know how lucky you are until something's taken away from you.
"Seeing people back in stadiums, cheering and with smiles on their faces is amazing."
Haskell was speaking during a visit to Coventry-based rugby club Old Coventrians RFC to celebrate their work as part of the NatWest RugbyForce programme.
NatWest RugbyForce, now in its 13th year, is a national programme developed in partnership with England Rugby to provide an opportunity for rugby clubs to open their doors to volunteers and help make improvements to their clubs.
Old Coventrians, celebrating its centenary year, is one of eight clubs across the country to receive the support of NatWest to improve their facilities - with young volunteers getting involved.
For the Midlands club, the project has focused on the creation of a new outdoor social area with pagoda, as well as internal redecoration of the changing rooms.
The veteran of 77 England caps surprised the club's committee members and players as well as the volunteers, and even lent a hand with the ongoing work.
Haskell, who has fond memories of his young playing days with Maidenhead Rugby Club, could not underplay the significance of the NatWest RugbyForce programme and thinks the importance of the grassroots game has never been stronger.
"I used to run around and get tired," Haskell said. "I remember all the characters, going on tour, finishing training, and just wanting a chocolate bar.
"All these things were so important, and it teaches you how to get on with different people, about teamwork and responsibility and they're some of my most fond memories.
"NatWest RugbyForce has helped to transform so many clubs and it encourages people to come together, there's nothing better than working hard together and bonding.
"I think it brings the best out of the clubs, you get the members down and it brings out the true characters and that's what rugby's all about – the grassroots game.
"The fact that these clubs get these opportunities, like to put a seating area in, to build a pagoda and paint the dressing room, means that they can thrive and keep playing and it means that they're set up for the future."
It is not just Haskell that has been blown away by its impact. Old Coventrians chairman Stephen Springate is thankful for the support of NatWest – and believes its impact will lead to a bigger and better long-term future for his club.
"Our involvement with NatWest RugbyForce has been essential, we get promotion, and it helps with the finances," he said.
"We're very much a family orientated club so the idea behind this project was that it's a safe environment for the whole family.
"It's wonderful for the volunteers too. It is nice for them to get confidence, get out and learn a skill.
"It's also a catalyst for more, we're already thinking about what we can do next."
NatWest is an Official Partner of England Rugby. NatWest RugbyForce is a nationwide programme developed in partnership with England Rugby to help rugby clubs get set for tomorrow. @NatWest_Rugby @EnglandRugby
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