Tom Croft can set his sights on the Six Nations and the Lions tour after making a successful comeback from injury on Friday night.
The Leicester flanker has been out for eight months with a neck injury but impressed in playing 50 minutes of the Tigers' 19-14 win over Worcester - in front of the watching England boss Stuart Lancaster.
He is likely to be named in England's elite player squad on Wednesday ahead of the Six Nations, having missed the summer tour of South Africa and the entire autumn Test series.
And as long as he stays fit he will be one of the favourites for a back-row spot in Warren Gatland's Lions squad for the summer tour of Australia.
"It is good to have those 50 minutes in the bank," Croft said.
"I was hoping to be back around November/December time, and when that didn't happen it was probably the most frustrating time.
"In all honesty, I have thought no further ahead than my first game back. I have now ticked that box and all I can do is play when I get the chance."