And they were clearly eager to set the record straight as Vunipola collected the man-of-the-match award and the rest of the Red Rose quintet helped Sarries to a 27-12 victory to move five points clear at the top of the table.
McCall was clearly delighted to have his England stars back, none more so than wing Ashton, as they put their Six Nations woes behind them at the first time of asking.
"I've got to take my hat off to our English guys who had a difficult weekend last weekend," said McCall. "All of them, to a man, wanted to play.
"It says a lot about the environment and the general group that they are so keen to come back and enjoy it so much - but some of our non-internationals were pretty good as well.
"Chris [Ashton] had a really top game and got himself involved, for a guy who has taken his criticism over the last few weeks.
"Two years ago we thought Chris Ashton was the best player in the world and he just needs to have the confidence that his coaches believe in him."