England hope injured duo Sam Underhill and Fraser Dingwall will be able to feature in the summer Tests against USA and Canada.
Bath flanker Underhill will miss Sunday’s England A clash with Scotland A in Leicester due to concussion, while Northampton centre Dingwall has picked up a calf problem.
England host the USA at Twickenham on July 4 before entertaining Canada on July 10, with Red Rose bosses refusing to rule out Underhill or Dingwall from full Test action.
“Sam Underhill will go through the HIA (head injury assessment) protocol,” said England A head coach John Mitchell.
“And Fraser’s calf we feel that will recover. But with calves you’ve got to take your time.
“But the competition in the squad has been huge.
“Reputation and talent means nothing, it’s about how hard you’re prepared to work, how much you’re prepared to contribute to others, and how much you’re prepared to contribute to the team.”
England will field 11 uncapped players in Sunday’s non-cap A international against Scotland at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.
Gloucester flanker Lewis Ludlow will captain the hosts, with Leicester prop Ellis Genge taking the vice-captaincy on his home ground.
Bristol’s Harry Randall and Wasps’ Jacob Umaga will pair up at half-back, in an exciting attacking combination that Mitchell hopes can flourish.
“I think running nines, the threat of nine is a critical aspect of play, both of them have that attribute, so that’s exciting,” said Mitchell.
“We’re very fortunate to have players with that skill-set, so that’s a huge bonus.
“I guess the timing of that run is down to their decision-making which they own.
“It’s always a really good time in the cycle leading up to the World Cup, where guys can present a case for their future.
“But they can only do it by focusing on what’s best for the team first and getting their job right within the team, and the rest will take care of itself.”