Ben Cohen has warned England ahead of tomorrow's Calcutta Cup clash at Murrayfield that Scotland winger Sean Lamont is "already world class and getting better".
Cohen knows from first hand experience just how devastating a finisher Lamont can be after the bleach-blond 25-year-old left Glasgow to join him at Northampton last summer. Indeed, only last weekend Lamont ran in four tries during the Saints' destruction of Saracens.
But tomorrow they will be in opposing camps and Lamont has already shown his top class pedigree this season with two tries in Scotland's stunning victory over France.
Cohen is looking forward to locking horns with his club-mate and hopes his inside knowledge can give England the upper hand as they chase a third straight RBS 6 Nations victory.
"Sean is a great player and I rate him big time. He is already a world class player and is getting better and better," said Cohen.
"There is no doubt that coming south of the border this season has helped him improve because the Premier-ship is a very tough league.
"With the likes of Carlos Spencer, Jon Clarke and Bruce Reihana, Sean is playing with backs who allow him to express himself a bit more."
Cohen and Lamont will be on opposite wings on Saturday, but such is their shared hunger for work there is no doubt they will clash at some point in the game.
"It would be good to be directly up against Sean but I am sure we will bump into each other at some point of the match," said Cohen.
"When you are training and playing with a guy week in, week out, you get an idea of strengths and weaknesses and I am sure that is the same for Sean when he looks at me.
"At Test level, we all do our own individual analysis about our opposite number and Mark Cueto will be doing that on Sean this week."
Cohen led England out at the Flaminio Stadium last week when he won his 50th Test cap against Italy. It leaves the World Cup winner as one of England's senior figures despite only being 27.
But only last season Cohen's career seemed to have reached a cross-roads. He was forced to play in the centre as Northampton battled against relegation.
The Saints stayed afloat by "about three inches" but Cohen had not been enjoying his rugby and last summer he made a crucial decision.
After missing out on Lions selection, he asked to be removed from the stand-by list and did not travel to the Churchill Cup with England A.
Cohen needed a break. He had not even had a chance to reflect on the World Cup glory and needed time to re-evaluate his career. In doing so, he rediscovered his enthusiasm and determination to succeed.
Last week, just after Cohen had joined England's 50-up club, his Northampton boss Paul Grayson said: "I am full of admiration for him. He has been very honest and he is getting his reward."
A flood of tries for Northampton earned Cohen an England recall in November and he scored his 30th Test try against Australia. After the difficulties of last season it was a special moment.
"Getting back into the England team was massive for me and I did take time in the summer to examine my career and decide how I wanted to take it forward," he explained.
"This has felt like a new start. It's a great thrill to reach the 50-cap mark but I'm not a veteran yet. I'm only 27 and would love to add 50 more."
The 51st will be handed out at Murrayfield, where victory over a resurgent Scotland would stir up genuine hopes of a Grand Slam. ..SUPL: