Dylan Hartley has been given a ringing endorsement of his England credentials ahead of Sunday's clash with the Barbarians at Twickenham.
The New Zealand-born Northampton hooker is on course to make a Test debut against the All Blacks in Auckland or Christchurch next month.
And it is all a far cry from Hartley’s sense of desolation last year when a six-month ban for gouging destroyed his World Cup hopes.
He finds himself on the bench this weekend, providing cover for London Irish’s David Paice, but his chance will arrive at some stage of the action.
And England forwards coach John Wells has no doubt about Hartley’s potential value to the red rose cause.
Wells said: “Dylan and David Paice are good players, and we need to find out more about them at this level.
“Hartley has been very impressive in training and he will step up when asked to do so.
“The important thing is to give him game time. He has not played for the last four weeks.
“I have spoken to him in the past about his discipline and he has worked on that at Northampton with (coach) Dorian West. He now plays in an organised and disciplined way.
“He has matured as a individual and as a professional rugby player.
“The rough edges have been eliminated from his game, but there is still a physicality and an aggression about the way he plays, and we need those in English rugby.”
Charlie Hodgson, meanwhile, has been told to stake a claim for England’s fly-half position against the All Blacks in Auckland on June 14.
Danny Cipriani and Jonny Wilkinson - Hodgson’s principal rivals for the England number 10 shirt - will both miss the New Zealand tour after undergoing ankle and shoulder operations respectively.
And while England could still turn to either Olly Barkley or Toby Flood to step in, both players primarily play their club rugby at inside centre.
Hodgson, whose 30-cap Test career has been blighted by injury setbacks that underpinned him missing the last two World Cup campaigns, will start against the Barbarians.
Tour manager Rob Andrew said: “We want Charlie to play and stake a claim for being in contention for the first Test.
“He is a great player and he has been running the show this week with Flood at 12.
“I am looking forward to seeing them play together and mixing up the game, setting the foundations for when we go to New Zealand.”