Lions lock Simon Shaw is targeting a return to international action when England face the All Blacks on November 21.
The London Wasps veteran is currently recovering from a foot injury and hasn’t played since he travelled back from South Africa with the 2009 Lions.
Shaw was one of the stars of the recent 10-match adventure, excelling himself in both the second and third Tests against the Springboks as the Lions came so close to a stunning series victory.
But the four months that have followed have been frustrating for the 36-year-old as he has been forced to sit and watch when he should have been cementing his England place ahead of next month’s autumn internationals.
Shaw admits that he is unlikely to feature in England’s first two games against Australia and Argentina but he is hopeful of stepping back into the fold for the mouth-watering clash with New Zealand at Twickenham.
"I ran on Tuesday and Wednesday with no ill effects,” said Shaw.
"I’ve spoken to Martin Johnson and we both want to get me back playing, but I would want at least two or three games under my belt before I consider playing for England."
And while Shaw himself is currently recovering from injury, the triple Lions tourist has lent his voice to the argument that the length and intensity of the northern hemisphere season needs to be addressed.
Shaw, who made his international debut in 1996 and has experienced both the amateur and professional eras of the game, admits he is worried about the physical pressures being place on today’s players.
"I don’t necessarily think the game is the cause of all the injuries, rather the length of the season,” added Shaw.
"Everyone bangs on about the amount of games people are expected to play – I don’t even think it’s that. It’s the expectation on the players to be fit for an entire season. Whether they are playing or not is almost irrelevant.
"The stresses and strains rugby players put their bodies through, not just during games but week in week out through training, is enormous.
"If you do that over a long period of time, you are going to break down and it needs to be looked at."