Dylan Hartley could be recalled into England's World Cup squad once his suspension has been served, revealed forwards coach Graham Rowntree.
The Northampton hooker, who was handed a four-week ban for head-butting Saracens opponent Jamie George, was left out of England's preparations.
But Rowntree has admitted that he has kept in touch with Hartley and should injury arise in his position, he would be considered for a call-up to the squad.
"Look, the whole Dylan situation – it is what is. He is banned," he told Sky Sports News HQ.
"He is unavailable so I have got to put my resources into the guys that are here and that just so happens to be a couple of young hookers in particular at the moment.
"Going forward, we never discount the possibility of Dylan coming in, if required, as long as he has served his ban."
He added: "I trust Dylan. He played in the last game of the Six Nations for us. He is fit.
"I have been in touch with him regularly and he would be able to come in and slot in if we need him."