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 big news at England’s training-base this week is the return of Croft to international duty nearly a year after he suffered a horrendous neck injury playing for Leicester against Harlequins.
Croft, who played throughout last year’s RBS 6 Nations, returned to competitive action in January but has been playing sporadically since as the Leicester medical staff monitored the reaction of his neck to impact.
Last weekend as Leicester defeated Sale; Croft made his first back-to-back starts and as a result has been called up to England training this week at the Pennyhill Park Hotel.
England have an avalanche of options in the back row, with Thomas Waldrom, James Haskell, Billy Vunipola, Ben Morgan, Chris Robshaw, Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood all featuring in recent fixtures.
But Lancaster revealed his delight at having Croft back in the international mix earlier than expected – a man who just four years ago was the stand-out performer for the Lions on the tour in South Africa.
"Tom has been seen by a specialist, played back-to-back games and played 80 minutes at the weekend and did extremely well," Lancaster added.
"In consultation with the medical teams and (Leicester director of rugby) Richard Cockerill, we've brought him back into the camp. He's available for Italy and Wales.
"Tom is one of our most experienced players who has played at the highest level.
"When we go back to the Six Nations last year he was outstanding and was a key leader as well as player. He brings a lot.
"He's worked extremely hard to get back to fitness and into contention."