Leicester Tigers prop Dan Cole has backed Saints star Alex Corbisiero to show his quality for England in the coming weeks and months.
Corbisiero is currently part of a 45-man group who are undergoing gruelling high-altitude training in Denver in preparation for their first warm-up Test against France on August 15.
That game will be followed by another against the French and one against Ireland as Stuart Lancaster’s men sharpen up for the World Cup, which begins on September 18.
And having proved his fitness at the back end of last season and in England training, Corbisiero will be desperate to make his mark.
The 26-year-old starred for the British & Irish Lions in their series win in Australia in 2013 and helped Saints claim an Amlin Challenge Cup and Aviva Premiership double a year later.
He has all of the big game experience England will need in such a gargantuan tournament on home soil, and Cole knows exactly what the Northampton man brings to the party.
“Alex knows how to manage himself and he’s played in big games, so he’s not started from scratch when he’s been back,” said the Tigers forward.
“It may take you a couple of games to back into it, but after that your quality shows through.
“There is some great competition at loosehead, you’ve also got two British & Irish Lions in there in Mako (Vunipola) and Alex, and Matt Mullan who’s been very good for Wasps this year.
“There’s that depth there and it’ll be really up to these next eight weeks for people to really put their hand up and take that spot. They’re all good guys, they’re all fighting each other, and England will all be stronger for it.”
And Cole knows England will be relying on each and every prop to anchor their World Cup bid.
“You look at (reigning champions) New Zealand in 2011 and they were down to their fourth or fifth fly-half by the World Cup final, so you need a good squad depth,” he added.
“Injuries do happen, it’s not going to be 15 blokes to win you the World Cup, you need the 31-man squad and also even players outside that.
“I can remember my first game, the first game of the Six Nations in 2010, and as time goes on you probably become more confident in your abilities.
“But you never lose the nerves or excitement for international rugby, every game is unique and you remember each one.”
Dan Cole was appearing alongside his England team mates at the launch of the innovative England Rugby World Cup shirt #CommittedtoEngland. Visit Canterbury.com