Ben Foden’s World Cup dream is still alive after Saints coach Dorian West revealed the England star is making good progress in his recovery from a knee injury.
Foden ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a European Champions Cup win at Ospreys in January and missed the rest of the season.
He was not named in England’s initial 50-man Rugby World Cup training squad last week, but international boss Stuart Lancaster stressed he is still under consideration.
And West says the 29-year-old is well on the way to a return ahead of the tournament, which begins with England’s game against Fiji at Twickenham on September 18.
“It’s amazing these days how the lads get over those sort of injuries,” said the forwards coach. “It’s not that long ago that if you had that cruciate ligament injury you’d be more or less finished, but Foden’s already up and running faster than a lot of people in the game.
“It’s amazing how they recover, how quickly they get over things and the medical help and assistance they get in their rehab is unbelievable.
“It’s really pleasing to see some of the stuff he’s doing already. He’ll be right when he’s right. There’s certain timescales they work to and he’ll be ready when he’s ready.
“He’s working as hard as he can do, I’m sure of that, and when he’s ready he’ll be ready.”
Mike Brown and Alex Goode are among the contenders to fill the England 15 shirt for the World Cup. But West knows that if Foden can get back to full fitness, he will push them all the way.
He said: “When Foden’s at his best, he’s as good as anyone. You wouldn’t leave someone like that out if there’s a chance of him being involved.
“They’ve picked 50 players so there’s plenty of room to make sure your best players are in there if they are fit in time to play.”