Luther Burrell says England team-mate Jonathan Joseph and regular Saints centre partner George Pisi are ‘very similar players’.
And Burrell is now looking to establish the kind of winning combination he has at his club in his country’s colours.
The 27-year-old lined up alongside Joseph in the England midfield in the Six Nations opener at Wales last Friday.
It proved to be a wise selection from Stuart Lancaster as the pair impressed in a 21-16 victory, with the Bath man scoring one of the tries.
And Burrell feels Joseph bears plenty of similarities to Samoan star Pisi, who has become a key member of the Saints team since arriving in 2011.
“They’re very similar players,” said Burrell.
“They read the game well, they like to take players on and get their offloads away. It’s good to have.
“I don’t want to big him (Joseph) up too much because you never know what could happen but he’s a great player and he took his opportunity last Friday.”
With Manu Tuilagi on the way back from injury and the likes of Billy Twelvetrees, Brad Barritt and Kyle Eastmond also competing for a starting spot, Burrell knows he can’t afford to relent in the battle to keep his shirt.
And ahead of Saturday’s game against Italy at Twickenham, he said: “There’s a lot of competition.
“Guys are coming back fit this week so for me it’s about getting the consistency in an England jersey and hopefully me and JJ can build an understanding of each other.
“It’s up to the other players to try to slot in and take that shirt from us.”