London Irish head coach Toby Booth believes Paul Hodgson will be challenging for the England scrum-half spot this autumn.
Leicester's Harry Ellis is the current incumbent but Booth believes Hodgson is the country's in-form No9.
Ellis regained his place in the starting side last February and has since gone on to tour South Africa with the 2009 Lions.
The 27-year-old Tiger turned Lion enhanced his reputation with a series of impressive performances in the Republic but Booth has claimed that Hodgson has the skills to rob Ellis of his England berth.
Hodgson, who currently has three international caps to his name, played a key role in his club's side's Guinness Premiership win over London Wasps on Sunday and is being tipped to start for England against Australia on November 7.
"It's a delight to have Paul on your side and in front of England selectors he's shown what he's good at," said Booth, after his side made it three wins out of four in this year's Premiership campaign.
"He has good core skills and can play with great clarity in high pressure games. He can be the midfield general.
"England have their reasons for picking people in front of him, maybe because they want gamebreakers.
"But if they want someone who can contribute in a leadership aspect and in relationship to his own skill set, then he should be an automatic choice.
"We must plan for life without him when the autumn internationals come around because I'm sure he'll be involved."
Hodgson is one of three scrum-halves in Martin Johnson's elite squad, with Ellis and Danny Care of Harlequins the others hoping to be involved against the Wallabies, Argentina and the All Blacks this autumn.