New England coach Eddie Jones has given the strongest possible hint that Chris Robshaw will start in their Six Nations opener against Scotland next month, saying the flanker is the best number six in England this season.
Robshaw, who was England's captain at the World Cup last year, was told by Jones that he needed to switch from being an openside to a blindside flanker if he wanted to compete for a place in the national side.
Jones has been so impressed with Robshaw's performances in the Premiership for Harlequins that the former Japan coach now looks certain to include the 29-year-old in his first competitive game as England mentor.
"One of the first things I did when I got here was to meet Chris and have a coffee," the Australian told TalkSport.
"We had a good chat and I said to him, 'Look, going forward, the first thing you have got to do is get in the team and to get in the team you have got to be the best number six in England'.
"He has gone and done that so he has got a great chance to be the starting six against Scotland.
"I have been really impressed with the way he has gone and restructured his game to a large degree and got back to what he is good at – being a hard-working, carrying, tackling number six – so he has done everything I have asked him to do and that is why he has been rewarded with a spot in the squad."