Danny Cipriani has returned to the England squad with great fanfare and public expectation - but the Wasps fly-half insists he still has a lot to prove on the international stage.
Cipriani, fit again after recovering ahead of schedule from a gruesome ankle injury, has been promoted into the senior England squad by Martin Johnson as a replacement for Jonny Wilkinson, who is sidelined with a dislocated left knee cap.
The 20-year-old has made just one start for England, when he replaced Wilkinson for the RBS 6 Nations victory over Ireland, but his celebrity stretches beyond rugby.
But the player himself insists he is as grounded as ever with just one goal - to pull on the England number 10 jersey again and succeed on the rugby field.
“I know I’ve only played one full game for England so there is still a lot for me to prove, both at international and club level, but I’m delighted that Martin has shown such confidence in me,” said Cipriani.
“I hope I get the opportunity to repay that confidence. Since my injury in May this has always been my target to get back and ready for.
“I am so excited about meeting up with the England guys on Sunday and being part of the 32-man squad.”
Cipriani was left out of Johnson’s first elite squad when it was named on July 1 because he was not expected to recover from a dislocated fracture of the ankle until late November.
But Cipriani returned on October 1, six weeks ahead of schedule and just 24 hours after Wilkinson limped off at Kingsholm.
“Martin Johnson has been in regular contact with me since my injury as he does with all injured players and has kept me in the loop, which has been very comforting and allowed me a focus and target throughout my recovery,” Cipriani added.
“It was always my goal to get myself back to fitness for Wasps but also to put myself in the frame for England and I am delighted.”
Cipriani is quicker than before his injury thanks to the dedicated work he has done through the rehabilitation period with sprint coach Margot Wells and the Wasps physios and fitness team.
He is set to compete with Toby Flood for the England fly-half jersey, while Bath’s Nick Abendanon has also been brought into the squad to provide additional options at full-back.
Abendanon replaced out-of-favour Leicester winger Tom Varndell, while Bath captain Michael Lipman was called in for Lewis Moody, who is back in training but has not yet played a game since undergoing hip and Achilles surgery.