But Payne, who was part of England's successful tour of Australia this summer, admits he has no automatic right to the No.1 jersey and insists it is 'fair game' between him and fit-again Sheridan for a starting berth.
"Andy is a class player," said Payne. "Everyone is glad he is back fit and playing again.
"No-one ever has right to an England shirt, so it's not a case of him winning it from me - it's there to be won by the either of us.
"Right now it's fair game between us - or anyone else for that matter - to step up and earn the right to start for England.
"I've got to have faith and confidence in my own ability and back myself to be able to perform well enough to earn my place.
"It's just about putting in the hard work now, getting my head down and performing in the Premiership for Wasps."