Lee Dickson says he is ‘a million per cent’ still holding on to his England dream.
The Saints scrum-half was named in the EPS squad back in October, but did not get any game time during the autumn internationals.
He has also been overlooked for the first three Six Nations matches, with Leicester’s Ben Youngs and Saracens’ Richard Wigglesworth the preferred choices at nine.
But with the World Cup set to take place on home soil later this year, Dickson is refusing to give up hope of forcing his way back into the England team.
“I’m bitterly disappointed not to be involved but that’s rugby at the end of the day,” said the 29-year-old.
“All I can do is keep sticking my hand up and playing well for the Saints.
“I’ve enjoyed captaining the team during the past couple of weeks with us winning at Bath and against Quins last Friday.
“Sitting at the top of the Premiership is always doing good for me and the team, so if I can keep leading this team, working hard and making sure we keep winning, hopefully my England spot will come back to me.
“You don’t know what’s around the corner - rugby’s a funny game.”
Dickson sustained a blow to the head during last Friday’s 17-13 win against Harlequins and was forced off five minutes into the second half.
But he has passed concussion protocols and declared himself fit for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership trip to Gloucester.
“I just got a knock on the head and the physio department said ‘enough’s enough, off you get’.
“Everything’s fine now. I’m fit for this weekend.
“I’ve been through my return to play protocol and the physios have been awesome, so I’m happy and ready to rock and roll.”
owever, Dylan Hartley and Luther Burrell will not be available for Saints’ trip to Gloucester as they have been retained by England ahead of their clash with Scotland on March 14.