Dan Cole is backing his England and Leicester Tigers team-mate Ellis Genge to make an impact in the upcoming autumn internationals.
Genge made his England debut against Wales in May last year but failed to feature in the subsequent Tests that includes tour of Australia, autumn internationals and also the Six Nations 2017 tournament.
The absence of senior members due to British and Irish Lions commitment presented the 22-year-old with another opportunity in the two match Test series in Argentina.
Eddie Jones may opt to rest first choice loosehead Mako Vunipola due to his involvement in the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand while Joe Marler, ranked number two in the position, is suspended, which means Genge could make his third start for the red rose team in the opening game of the autumn internationals against Argentina at Twickenham.
"A year ago, when he was called in against Australia, maybe he was in there on potential, but now he's here on merit because he is one of the top two or three looseheads in the country," Cole said of his Leicester team-mate.
"Look at his form in the Premiership - he has been outstanding. I know Joe is suspended this week, but Ellis is here on merit because he's in the top two or three looseheads in the country.
"He's progressed a lot. If you look at when he came to Leicester, a year-and-a-bit ago, he was very raw. But playing week-in, week-out has helped him make massive improvements to his game.
"He's always been able to carry and he's always had that abrasive edge, but I think he's more controlled now in what he can do and how he can channel his physicality.
"He plays on edge but rarely goes over it. He brings physicality. He chats in scrums with the opposition, he is vocal around the field. That is his mentality, how he plays the game.
"I think he's got better as a defender too and his scrum has come along significantly as well. He obviously has the physical make-up - strong, powerful."
Genge along with his England team-mates went to Bristol which was also the 6ft prop's hometown for a joint training session with Wales at Clifton College on Monday.
"I don't think he's from the Clifton part. We asked the schoolkids if they knew which postcode Gengie was from and no one had been to those parts," Cole said.