Alex Waller has highlighted the part Alex Corbisiero has played in helping him earn an England Saxons call.
Loosehead prop Waller is part of a 23-man Saxons squad that will take on Ireland Wolfhounds at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick-off 5pm).
The 23-year-old has stepped up for Saints in the absence of England senior squad star Corbisiero, who moved to Northampton from London Irish during the summer.
Corbisiero is currently sidelined with a knee injury, but Waller has filled the void impressively, earning recognition from team-mates and pundits alike.
He has also done enough to make an impression on the national coaches and will now hope to make his first appearance in an England shirt this weekend.
And Waller says his road to international recognition has been smoothed by the help of Corbisiero.
“Alex is a real scrum nause, but in a good way,” said the Kettering-born prop. “He talks a lot in the meetings and to me and he’s really helped my game. I can only thank him for that.
“He’s been a big help to the squad, even though he can’t contribute on the pitch at the moment he’s always working away in the background, helping with analysis.
“He’s a great lad to have around the changing room so we’re happy to have him here.”