England can dominate the Six Nations for years to come, says former France fly-half Thomas Castaignede.
Eddie Jones’ side secured a first championship since 2011 at the weekend and can wrap up the Grand Slam with victory over France on Saturday.
Castaignede, who won Grand Slams in 1997 and 1998, told BBC Sport: “There are no other teams near England.
“And if they keep the same group of players together they can win the tournament for many years.”
They secured the title courtesy of Scotland’s win over France on Sunday, which meant England cannot now be caught even if they lose in France.
Their success is in contrast to their World Cup performance last year, when England became the first tournament hosts to be knocked out in the pool stage.
Head coach Stuart Lancaster was replaced by Australian Jones and, having won all four of his games in charge so far, he can secure a first English Grand Slam since 2003 with victory in Paris.
Former England centre Jeremy Guscott said Jones “promised us changes – and he’s delivered”, while ex-Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies added Jones has done “all the right things”.
“England have quality, are very well organised and Eddie Jones brings confidence,” explained Castaignede on the BBC’s Six Nations forum.
“They deserve better than the title, they deserve the Grand Slam. I’ve been really impressed with England and the way they’re playing.”
Has Jones delivered?
England secured the Triple Crown by holding on to beat Wales 25-21 at Twickenham on Saturday, nearly six months after Warren Gatland’s side had pulled off a remarkable comeback to beat England in the World Cup.
Jones has made a series of changes, including taking the captaincy from Chris Robshaw and handing it to the recalled Dylan Hartley, picking James Haskell on the open-side flank with Robshaw moving across to blind-side, and giving Test debuts to forwards Maro Itoje, Paul Hill and Jack Clifford and centre Elliot Daly.
“Eddie Jones promised us changes and he’s delivered,” said former England centre Jeremy Guscott.
“More importantly his side have responded to the questions he’s asking. I’ve enjoyed the heads-up rugby. Eddie Jones has instilled this belief to play what’s in front of you. They’re playing with tempo.
“The accuracy is causing teams problems. They are deserved champions.”
Is Jones saying the right things?
“There’s a confidence that oozes from this England side, as if Eddie Jones says ‘I’ll take all the flack and pressure and you guys do the job you’re paid to do and play rugby'”, said Davies.
“He does all the right things – he praises Robshaw and says he’s still one of the key players in his squad. They have balance and a great strength in depth.”
Time for a couple of beers?
Jones watched from his squad’s training base at Pennyhill Park on Sunday as Scotland’s win over France secured the title for England.
“I feel a bit mixed,” said Jones. “It’s nice to win the championship but as a team we feel like we haven’t achieved anything yet.
“I’ve just seen Dylan Hartley. We didn’t know whether to shake hands, hug or just get on with business. We decided to shake hands and get on with it.
“We’ll have a normal team meeting and then we might go down the bar and have a couple of beers.”