But despite returning to the final four years later – only to fall to South Africa – last year’s World Cup campaign saw England dumped out at the quarter-final stage by France, their adventure marred by on and off-field problems.
However, after an pride-restoring second-place finish in this year's RBS 6 Nations, the class of 2012 seem to have made those woes a thing of the past with the squad looking more like a unit under a new collection of Red Rose coaches.
And Lewsey insists this is all down to Lancaster opting out of the spotlight and putting the power back in the hands of the players.
“I have been very impressed with Stuart Lancaster,” said Lewsey, speaking at the House of Commons where he met 11 MPs to garner support for Premiership Rugby’s flagship social inclusion programme Hitz.
“The biggest thing I have been an admirer of is that he realised it is not about him.
“It is about devolving responsibility, devolving leadership and devolving decision-making and ownership of the culture to the players.
“In doing that he then empowers people below him and the coaches have done likewise and you get the feeling that the team is now heading in the right direction.”
Lancaster will be hoping the feel-good factor continues this autumn as England face off against Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
However Lewsey knows exactly how tough southern hemisphere opposition can be – having made his England debut on the Tour of Hell to Australia in 1998 – and is urging that the end result be treated on its merits for a side still finding its feet.
“The autumn internationals will be a real test for a team that has been together for just over 12 months now and what I would say to the public is concentrate on the performance and not the end result so much,” he added.
“England are playing three of the best four teams in the world and getting results is tough.
“I just hope we don’t have a fickle reaction if we don’t win. For me it is more important at this stage is the development and the performances aside from the result.
“Of course I want to see England win but I want to see England develop from where they were last year and hopefully they can take a scalp but for me it is the manner in which they play and the manner in which they carry themselves on and off the pitch that matters.”