The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
But the Leicester Tigers’ man, thankful for the loyalty shown by head coach Stuart Lancaster, is ready to return to the test-match arena even if his role may be off the bench.
“It is a bit of a shock to be involved. I've only played 50 minutes in the last eight months and so I never really envisaged being back in the squad,” said Croft, speaking in his role as an ambassador for energy supplier SSE.
“There is no guarantee that I will return to full fitness before the end of the Six Nations and then it will be for the coaches to decide but it is always great to be selected in the Elite Player Squad especially after my time out.
“From the outset of the injury we were hoping six months which would have brought me back around November so it has been delayed and that was a frustrating period.
“But being selected for the Six Nations makes up for it. Stuart likes continuity and is loyal to his players which is great and now I have a nice goal to target in a month’s time.”
Arguably Croft’s best international performances have come, not in England’s white but in the red of the British & Irish Lions with some outstanding displays in the series defeat to South Africa in 2009.
And Croft admits that while England will be desperate to regain the RBS 6 Nations title, he admits that the spectre of the summer’s Lions tour to Australia will loom over the competition.
“All the boys will be purely focusing on the Six Nations,” he said. “It is a huge tournament for this side and off the back of their performance against New Zealand there is going to be some expectation on their shoulders.
“That will be their primary goal but being a Lions' year there is that added bit of pressure and the majority won't be thinking about it.
“But it will be in the back of their minds, nagging away that if they perform well over the next five games and in the Six Nations there is the likelihood they will get a Lions call- up which is a huge accolade.
“With the players we have got and the fact they have been blooded and given their caps we can push on, start developing careers and help us try and win every game.”