Joe Launchbury handed Eddie Jones a real boost ahead of the 2019 Guinness Six Nations with an impressive outing on his injury return for Wasps.
The lock was unavailable for all of England’s autumn campaign with a knee complaint but did not miss a beat on his first game back.
The club captain led by example as Wasps halted a miserable run of form in front of their home crowd with a 27-16 win over Northampton Saints on Sunday.
The 27-year-old has won 53 caps for his country and returns with the 2019 Championship just a month away.
His return is well-timed for Jones with Maro Itoje currently out injured, although the Saracens star is expected to be back in time for the Guinness Six Nations.
And the Wasps man certainly got the best of his head-to-head with fellow England hopeful Courtney Lawes in a bruising encounter at the Ricoh Arena – chipping in with five carries, seven tackles and a turnover in the victory.
“I am not the best spectator so it has been a frustrating few months,” said Launchbury.
There was more good news for Jones with Nathan Hughes also returning from a knee problem and coming off the bench to add real impact in the second half for Wasps, while Brad Shields also impressed in the back row.
Man of the match went to Thomas Young however who contributed all over the park to give Warren Gatland another reminder of his abilities in the Welsh back row.
Gatland will also have been impressed by the form of Dan Biggar who kicked 11 points but came out on the wrong end of the result that lifts Wasps back into the top six.