Topsy Ojo is hungry for a return to international rugby after watching enviously as London Irish team-mates Delon Armitage and Nick Kennedy cemented their own places in the England squad.
Ojo, 23, made his Test debut on the summer tour to New Zealand but he was overlooked by new team manager Martin Johnson when the elite squad was named on July 1.
While he remained on Exiles duty through November, Armitage made the England full-back jersey his own while Kennedy impressed against the Pacific Islanders and New Zealand.
Johnson can make five changes to his squad for the RBS 6 Nations plus he will be looking to fill the three-quarter vacancy following Josh Lewsey’s recent retirement.
Ojo has his eye on one of those spaces and he heads into tomorrow’s top-of-the-table Guinness Premiership clash with Gloucester determined to impress his credentials on Johnson and England’s attack coach Brian Smith.
“These next few weeks will be an important time for me,” said Ojo, who this week signed a new three-year contract with London Irish.
“It is hard watching England when you have been there because you want that opportunity to show what you can do on the international stage.
“Being there, experiencing the whole thing, does make you much hungrier to taste it again.
“The best way to get recognised is to play well for your club and hopefully that shot will come. It came last year and I did really well. That can happen again.
“The key for me has been consistency and I have been really happy with my form. I have scored four tries which is more than I had at this stage last season.
“Things have gone well so far and if I can keep that going then fingers crossed I can get bumped up to that England squad. I need to be ready to take an opportunity if it comes up.”
Ojo broke into the England squad for the summer tour after an electric finish to last season, including a stunning solo try in the Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulouse.