Stuart Lancaster could be the man to restore order to England, according to James Simpson-Daniel, who played under him with England Saxons.
Lancaster will take charge of England for the Six Nations following Martin Johnson's resignation in November.
"He can be very firm and can get nasty when he has to," Gloucester back Simpson-Daniel told BBC Sport.
"But he's full of enthusiasm, you're going to get honesty from him and he's a very good motivator."
Lancaster will be supported by current England scrummaging coach Graham Rowntree and Saracens first-team coach Andy Farrell.
England are still searching for a full-time coach after Johnson quit as manager in the wake of a disappointing World Cup.
Johnson's side were eliminated by France at the quarter-final stage and beset by disciplinary problems off the pitch.
Lancaster was appointed the Rugby Football Union's head of elite player development in 2008 and has been in charge of the second-string Saxons during the same period, winning three Churchill Cups.
His time with the Saxons has seen him handle a number of players likely to feature in the Six Nations, including full-back Ben Foden, prop Alex Corbisiero and potential captain Tom Wood.
The former PE teacher had been director of rugby at Leeds, replacing Phil Davies in May 2006 after spending five years in charge of the club's academy.
Simpson-Daniel, who made Johnson's World Cup training squad but did not make the final cut, won the Churchill Cup under Lancaster in 2010.
"He's hands-on, he likes to get out on the training pitch and give advice, he lets you know if you've got something wrong, but he praises as well," said the 29-year-old Simpson-Daniel.
"If people are messing around in a session or you've been a bit slack he can lose his temper, you just don't take the mickey.
"But he's head-on about performance, takes time with individual players, has one-on-one meetings, asks you your views.
"It's been difficult for England both on and off the field, with a lot of distractions, and they could probably do with a boost."
England open their Six Nations campaign against Scotland at Murrayfield on 4 February. They then travel to Rome to play Italy the following Saturday before a home game against Wales on 25 February.