Notts spinner Graeme Swann says that the England squad will benefit from the break they are enjoying ahead of the two-month tour of South Africa which begins next month.

Swann was accompanied by Notts team mates on his stag weekend recently and supported Newcastle United in their defeat to Nottingham Forest last weekend as he recharged his batteries after a busy summer of cricket.

"The last two weeks have been our first weeks off in virtually 12 months and it is hard," said Swann.

"The one-day series against Australia was hard coming so soon after the Ashes, we didn't have time to celebrate winning them back.

"That's one of the thing we missed out on, going straight into the one-day series rather than celebrating properly and getting the whole nation behind the team and promoting the sport a bit more. I think we missed a trick there."

Swann has firmly established himself in the England Test side, displacing Monty Panesar as the nation’s only centrally contracted spinner. He was a key figure in the npower Ashes victory, his place in cricket history secured as he bowled the final ball of the series.

"We're paid to do this and it's a brilliant job, so I'm not complaining,” he said.

“The greatest thing for me is I've only been back involved with the England team so it's still new and exciting to me.”