Nick Easter and Danny Cipriani, two familiar faces under previous England regimes, are both eyeing surprise call-ups into coach Stuart Lancaster's Six Nations squad next week.
Harlequins' experienced number eight Easter, out of the picture since the 2011 World Cup, has been in outstanding form for his club and the broken leg suffered by Ben Morgan last week has opened the door for an England return at the age of 36.
In-form Sale fly-half Cipriani, once touted as the new wonderboy of English rugby but with only nine caps to his name since his debut in 2008, has also been doing and saying all the right things as Lancaster ponders his options with only eight games to work with before the World Cup.
Cipriani, who made two substitute appearances against New Zealand in June, is likely to be selected for the second-string England Saxons side against the Irish Wolfhounds on January 30, offering him the ideal showcase to convince Lancaster he has left his long list of off-field issues behind him.
Selecting Easter would represent less of a gamble.
He has been overlooked since an ill-advised comment after England's 2011 World Cup quarter-final defeat by France when he said "35,000 pounds down the toilet" but Morgan's bad luck and a drop in form of Billy Vunipola has opened the door.
"There is massive unfinished business for me as far as England is concerned," Easter, who has 47 caps, said.
"My hunger to play for England is as strong as it has ever been, stronger probably.
"I believe that I am much better player than when I was last capped. I make far better decisions.
"Yes, I want to be back involved. I would love to be."
He has a staunch ally in Quins director of rugby Conor O'Shea, who will meet Lancaster today.
"He has been playing out of his skin. He is playing at test level," said the former Irish international.
Lancaster has more options at flyhalf with George Ford and Owen Farrell battling for the shirt and Stephen Myler offering a secure third option, but the creative Cipriani, a target for European champions Toulon, has taken heart from chats with the England coach.
"He tells us who has the shirt at the minute and the people who are just below him so I think there is a group of us all fighting to get into that one, two or three spot," he said.