Ben Foden hopes his role in Northampton’s charge to the Premiership final can win him back his place in the England squad.
Chester-born Foden helped the Saints claim a thrilling comeback win over rivals Leicester at the weekend, setting up a mouthwatering clash with Saracens in the final at Twickenham on May 31.
Foden was a consistent presence in the England side under former head coach Martin Johnson but has fallen down the pecking order since Stuart Lancaster took over.
But the 28-year-old has been in fine form for his club and hopes that will book his place on the summer tour to New Zealand.
Foden, who missed the Six Nations through injury, knows competition is tough but believes he has plenty left to offer his country.
He said: “There is a lot of play for, some big games coming up for me to showcase what I can do.
“I’m only 28, I like to think I am quite an experienced international player and I can add something to the tour and hopefully I can do that first and foremost in these big knockout games.
“And hopefully I’ll get the call and make the flight. There is a lot of competition but mostly in my position which is a bit gutting.”
Foden has had reassurance from England coaches Andy Farrell and Mike Catt that the squad has not been finalised and the ex-Chester RUFC star knows a strong showing in the Premiership final could be crucial.
Northampton lost to Leicester in the final last season and Foden will be out to go one better this time around and make sure he gives himself the best possible chance of facing the All Blacks this summer.
He said: “Obviously there are names predominantly down for the tour but there are midweek games, there are tests, there are internationals going on when players competing in the Aviva Premiership Final won’t be involved, so a lot of things come into the equation.
“There are a lot of guys playing well in my position though, the likes of Mike Brown and Alex Goode for instance.
“There is just a lot of competition in the squad.
“For me it’s just about looking after my body and making sure that I’m doing the best I can for Northampton Saints and if the international call-ups come they come, if not then I will go away, work harder and hopefully put the pressure on them.”
Ben Foden was speaking at the launch of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Policy. Sign up for exclusive access to interviews and competitions at premiershiprugby.com/ avivarugbypolic