Danny Cipriani and Nick Easter have the chance to reignite their Test careers in England’s 34-man RBS 6 Nations training squad, with Sam Burgess also handed World Cup lift-off.
Dewsbury-born Burgess’ rugby league conversion has been fast-tracked by his selection to England’s second-string Saxons squad, while Cipriani and Easter come in from the cold.
Cipriani featured in two of England’s three Tests in New Zealand last summer, breaking a five-year international exile, but was omitted for the autumn series.
The 27-year-old has been mulling over a summer move to Toulon, but will stay at Sale if he can win the right to compete for a World Cup place.
Easter has not played for England since the 2011 World Cup, where he infamously commented “that’s £35,000 down the toilet” after the loss to France.
“It’s great to welcome back some of those players unavailable for the QBE internationals in the autumn,” said head coach Stuart Lancaster.
“They offer us a lot of quality and experience, so too Nick Easter, who has played well for Harlequins.
“With the injury to Ben Morgan, both he and Tom Waldrom in the Saxons will provide us with specialist number eight options alongside Billy Vunipola.
“That’s something we feel we need going into the tournament.”
Gloucester loose forward Morgan’s broken leg opened the door for Easter, who pleaded his case in a recent meeting with Lancaster.
The 36-year-old proved his desire to resurrect his Test career after signing a new two-year Harlequins contract.
Cipriani becomes the fourth fly-half in England’s squad, and will compete with George Ford, Owen Farrell and Stephen Myler for selection.
England open their Six Nations campaign against Wales in Cardiff on Friday, February 6.
Boss Lancaster will retain his 34-man training squad until he selects his first match squad for the Wales clash, on February 4.
The England squad will meet at their Pennyhill Park base to start preparations on Monday, January 26.