New England coach Brian Ashton has brought Jason Robinson out of retirement.
The World Cup winner quit playing Test rugby 15 months ago, but appears to have changed his mind following the sacking of former coach Andy Robinson.
“Jason is another who has won a World Cup and knows what it takes to be at the top of the world game in professional sport,” said Ashton in a statement.
“Apart from being a fantastic rugby player he has outstanding values as a person which will be important to the England team in the coming year.”
Ashton also announced Phil Vickery as his new captain in the initial Six Nations squad. The Wasps prop replaces Martin Corry.
Explaining his change of captain, Ashton said: “Phil is a player of massive experience who has been at the top of the world and he has a great desire to lead England back there again.
“He showed in the autumn he is back playing international rugby well and both as a player and a captain he is the right man to take England forward.
“During the autumn Martin Corry handled the captaincy situation really well in what was a difficult period – and I thank him for that.”