France v England, Saturday 7.30pm, live on Sky Sports 2
England flanker Tom Rees admits he has endured a trying time with injury since the end of last season.
The young Wasps star helped his club to Heineken Cup glory last season, but has struggled with knee and hamstring complaints for England since.
But having made Brian Ashton's final 30-man squad for the World Cup, he is set to get his first outing of the warm-up campaign, against France on Saturday.
The flanker concedes it has been a tough time, and says that in the darker days he feared for his World Cup spot.
"I had hoped to be part of the first France game last weekend, but I tweaked my hamstring at the end of training," he said.
"There were times with the knee as well when I sat there thinking 'this isn't getting any better. Am I out of the running?'
"But there had been a lot of talk about mental toughness, so it wouldn't have been right if I had sat there whinging the whole time."
Tipped for the top
England forwards coach John Wells is expects big things from the 22-year-old, starting with September's World Cup
"Tom got a big applause when he came on to the training pitch for the first time this week," Wells said.
"As a coaching team, we think very highly of him, and the players do as well. We are hoping his injuries are behind him - he is a quality player who will add something to this side.
"He has the potential to go on and be one of England's greats."
Watch Rees' return to action live on Sky Sports 2 from 7.30pm on Saturday, as Brian Ashton's troops look to get revenge for their disappointing 21-15 defeat at Twickenham.