Alex Corbisiero has not started for England since November 2012
England head coach Stuart Lancaster has been given a timely boost with the news that Alex Corbisiero is nearing a return to action for Northampton Saints.
Saints have booked their place in the English Premiership play-offs, ensuring they will have at least three more matches this season, having already reached the European Challenge Cup final.
Corbisiero, who started the first and third Lions Tests last summer, scoring an early try in the decider in Sydney, has not featured for six months, having picked up a knee injury last autumn which ruled him out of the RBS 6 Nations.
He was reported to be in contention for Saints' clash with Bath last Friday but while that came too soon for him, he could find himself back in action against Wasps this weekend.
"Hopefully, we've got a couple of big lads in the front row returning soon," said Mallinder.
"They're all training well, working hard and we could see some of them against Wasps."
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
England Under-20s may have agonisingly missed out on a third straight World Rugby U20 Championship title on Saturday but head coach Jon Callard is adamant that fans are witnessing the next generation of international superstars.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.