However with England bagging a famous win Down Under this summer - beating the old enemy 21-20 in Sydney, their first southern hemisphere win in seven years.
And Johnson believes his side are well primed to continue their mini-revival in November.
"The guys came in recently and were (fitness) tested and the results were the best since I've been here," said Johnson.
"Some of the guys had world-class statistics a year ago but others who weren't quite there have improved.
"Last summer I thought that we could improve our fitness in certain areas. It wasn't unsatisfactory a year ago, but it's definitely better now and it needs to be.
"You hear a lot from around the clubs that guys are in good shape and working harder.
"Fitness-wise we are up there now, but the key thing is what the score is when we play teams like New Zealand."