England have been told that Matt Mullan is ready to answer their prop crisis when their Six Nations opens against France on Feb. 4.
The champions are missing Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler for at least the opening two rounds of their title defence due to injury, robbing them of two high-quality options at loosehead.
It leaves Mullan poised to make only his second Test start when France visit Twickenham next month knowing a mini run in the team is the prize on offer having made 12 appearances as a replacement.
The 29-year-old contributed to Wasps’ 17-14 Champions Cup victory over Toulouse on Saturday and his director of rugby Dai Young, the former Wales prop who still scrummages against his players one-on-one in training, insists he is ready to fill the void once more.
“No one will be prouder than Matt to represent his country and in the past he has always done it really well. If he does get the nod, he won’t let anyone down,” Young said.
“He leaves nothing out there — when he comes into the dressing room he’s always emptied the tank. If you look at his stats for a front row they’re very high.
“He’s always been there or thereabouts for England and he knows the systems inside-out. When he has been called upon to perform, he’s always done a great job for them.”
Mullan, who deputised for Vunipola on last summer’s tour to Australia, does not want to be limited to a supporting role.
“Every player has ambitions to play for England, not only to play but to try and start and play as many times as you can,” Mullan said.
“If I am lucky enough to be dragged into the England camp, you have got to keep working hard and you have got to negotiate that first.”