England prop David Wilson has been ruled out of Friday’s match against Wales with a neck injury, opening the door for Dan Cole.
Cole has only played eight games this season since returning from neck surgery, missing the last few weeks with a separate foot problem.
England’s most-capped tighthead however is “ready to go”, according to England forwards coach Graham Rowntree.
Newcastle’s Kieran Brookes is likely to be Cole’s back-up on the bench in Cardiff.
“Davy is not going to be right for this week,” said Rowntree.
“He has not recovered from the nerve impingement. We are hoping he will still be in the mix for the next week but he is not right at the moment unfortunately.
“Dan is available. He has progressed well and trained with us all last week. We increased his rehab and he has trained fully for the last four days.
“He is a class, proven operator. He has not been out for six months and he has certainly not been sat twiddling his thumbs in the last six weeks. From the way I have seen him in training – and we have trained pretty fast as well – he has slotted in nicely.”