Tom Wood admits he’s relishing his return to action – and is now desperate to prove his fitness to England boss Stuart Lancaster.
The Northampton Saints star has played the full 80 minutes in all three of his side’s Aviva Premiership this season after returning to training from a four-month lay-off in July.
Wood suffered a toe injury that ruled him out of Saints’ run-in last season and prevented him from jetting off on England’s summer tour of South Africa.
He is still managing the problem, but has suffered no ill effects since his return to action in a pre-season friendly against Leinster in August.
And the 25-year-old admits thoughts of an England comeback for the autumn internationals, which start on November 10, against Fiji at Twickenham, remain prevalent.
“I obviously intend to get as close to and England side as I can and that only comes with playing well for my club and all the usual things really,” said Wood, who has nine caps to his name.
“I’ve got a job to do here at Northampton, I’ve got to prove my fitness and get some games under my belt which I’m relishing at the moment.
“When I’m 100 per cent fit and have half a dozen games under my belt I’d like to think I’ll be somewhere in contention but I’ll leave that to the selectors and see what comes.”
Wood has kept in contact with England chief Lancaster since being struck by the injury, and attended the EPS training camp at Loughborough in August.
The former Worcester ace is highly rated in the Red Rose setup and he is being monitored with a view to returning to the international fold.
“Every now and then. I keep in touch with them,” said Wood. “I keep in touch with the medics and they’re monitoring how I’m going with the injury more than anything.
“Stuart’s had the odd call around the EPS selection just to check in. Obviously I met up with them in the summer camp so they are keeping me in the loop and they are keeping me involved in that way.
“The focus has all been around getting back of the field and getting back playing and we’re taking it from there.”