England’s injury problems have eased with 32 players taking part in Monday’s squad training at Loughborough – including Mathew Tait.
Tait has been sidelined since undergoing surgery to repair slight cartilage tear to his knee sustained during kicking practice with Newcastle in August.
The 20-year-old centre, who won the last of his three caps during the summer tour to Australia, is certain to figure in England’s autumn schedule which opens against New Zealand on November 5.
He is a high-quality centre or wing who has the ability to ignite a pedestrian English backline and head coach Andy Robinson welcomed his return.
"It’s good to have Mathew back in the camp and we’re pleased that he has made a speedy recovery from his injury," he said.
Robinson is still contending with a lengthy injury list but he will have been encouraged by the numbers available to take part in training on Monday.
Last week only 23 of his 40-man elite player squad reported fit for practice while the first session of the season was also wrecked with just 17 able to take part.
Robinson will also have been lifted by the successful return of World Cup winners Lawrence Dallaglio and Phil Vickery.
Both featured in Sunday’s EDF Energy Cup victory over London Irish after recovering from respective ankle and back injuries and are continuing to train with their club Wasps.
Andy Farrell has also stayed at his club this week with England’s management deciding his rugby union development is better served at Saracens.
When he will appear in an England shirt and in what position is still unknown, but Saracens boss Alan Gaffney yesterday confirmed he will be given a chance at inside centre – the position earmarked for him by Robinson.
Newcastle centre Jamie Noon was given leave to miss training following the birth of his second child and there was a call-up for Leicester scrum-half Scott Bemand.
England’s autumn schedule also includes fixtures against Argentina and South Africa (twice) and Robinson was in an upbeat mood after day one of the final elite player squad session before the Tests.
"We had a really positive and productive three days last week and with more players able to train now we are looking forward to our final two days together."