Eddie Jones' mastery of media mind games has been a key factor in England's stunning form in 2016, according to Mike Tindall.
Saturday's 37-21 win over Australia at Twickenham saw Jones' side complete the year unbeaten, a feat last achieved in 2003, when Tindall was a regular in Clive Woodward's World Cup-winning squad.
The 38-year-old, who won 75 caps, described Jones as "ruthless", but suggested that the Australian's public persona - typified by his repeated digs at Wallabies coach Michael Cheika in the build-up to their weekend showdown - helped ease the pressure on his players.
"He is unbelievably hardworking and I'm led to believe he is ruthless," Tindall told BBC 5live. "He will make those hard calls and, although he puts pressure on the players from himself, with the media he takes pressure off the players.
"He plays great games for the media to focus on around him. Obviously with Cheika this week there was loads going on.
"The way he's done it, he's empowered the players in terms of making decisions. I know they spend a lot of time going through scenarios that might happen on the weekend and making sure they cover all those angles off, and you can see they've done that with the way they're playing."
After downing Australia on home soil, having whitewashed them 3-0 in their own back yard earlier in the year, Jones spoke of his desire to overhaul world champions New Zealand at the summit of the test rankings.
Tindall believes the two sides are closely matched, but is disappointed they will not go head to head any time soon.
"I think they [England] would fare very well at the moment in terms of what we've seen and how New Zealand are," he added.
"New Zealand are still a great team. It would be great to see, but unfortunately we're not going to see that until the autumn of 2018.
"It's a shame, especially if they keep going on their current path. There will probably be a loss somewhere in there for England, but I think if you look at it now the big game is probably going to be the one in Dublin, the last game in the Six Nations, hopefully with both sides having something to play for."