Danny Cipriani has cleared the first hurdle on a comeback trail that should lead to Twickenham next month.
Cipriani played for 51 minutes of Wasps' Guinness Premiership home defeat against Bath last night - his first game since suffering an horrific ankle injury more than four months ago.
With dislocated-knee victim Jonny Wilkinson battling to play again before Christmas, Wasps fly-half Cipriani's return will have delighted England manager Martin Johnson.
Cipriani, who replaced Wilkinson and kicked 18 points when England beat Ireland in their final game of last season's RBS 6 Nations Championship, is favourite to wear the number 10 shirt in a November 8 autumn Test opener against the Pacific Islanders.
"I was very happy to get through the match, but disappointed we lost," said Cipriani, after Wasps suffered a fourth defeat in five games - losing 27-23.
"Obviously, I was a bit rusty at first. I made some mistakes, which I know I can eradicate from my game after I've looked at the analysis.
"I thought my goalkicking was good, and I felt a bit more confident with my defence."
Bath, though, ensured they gatecrashed Cipriani's Adams Park homecoming as tries from Pieter Dixon, Matt Stevens, Michael Claassens and Joe Maddock secured a bonus-point 27-23 win that took the west country club top.
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.
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.