George Ford admits England's 33-19 win over Wales was far from "perfect" but praised his team-mates for toughing out the contest for the full 80 minutes in front of a strong Twickenham crowd on Sunday afternoon.
The Leicester Tigers fly-half registered fifteen points of his own from the kicking tee in the Quilter International, which was the second time in less than 12 months that the 26-year-old had captained his country after leading England against Japan during the 2018 Autumn Internationals.
"It's a good start ... we said all week what a great opportunity it would be," Ford told Sky Sports post-match.
"We wanted to rip in together ... not everything was going to be perfect.
"But, we found a way."
3️⃣3️⃣ - 1️⃣9️⃣@George_Fordy has helped @EnglandRugby to a fourteen point victory over Wales at Twickenham, including fifteen points of his own. pic.twitter.com/wyHr47lMiW— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) August 11, 2019
England have endured a busy and gruelling summer, including a camp in Treviso, under the watch of head coach Eddie Jones and Ford says the win over the reigning Six Nations champions is a solid foundation for the coming months, culminating in the World Cup in Japan.
"As players we wanted to start a winning mentality today," he said.
"It was a great opportunity with four new lads making their debut today ... and we'll enjoy tonight but there is still lots to work on."
Looking back on the match, Ford was unsurprisingly realistic in his appraisal of the victory and praised the English pack for their efforts in laying the base for the back-line to attack.
"We started well ... but, to be honest, we lost it a bit in the middle," said Ford.
"The pleasing thing is that we got it back ... we played to our strengths - the scrum and the line-out were great today."
Ford was one of five Leicester players to feature in the game, starting the fixture alongside Dan Cole and Ellis Genge, with cameos from Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi from the bench.
Alongside club-mate Jonny May, the six Tigers will be hopeful of inclusion in England's Rugby World Cup squad for the 2019 tournament when it is named on Monday (August 12) by Eddie Jones.