Andy Robinson has left World Cup-winner Lawrence Dallaglio under no illusions about the task he faces to reclaim a Test team place after 19 months of self-imposed England exile.
While the England head coach hailed Dallaglio's "huge" appetite to represent his country again, he also delivered a clear-cut selection message because the back row is "a massively competitive area".
Wasps captain Dallaglio has been named in a sizeable Six Nations training squad, despite quitting the international scene in August 2004 - two months after winning his 73rd cap during a 51-15 Brisbane battering against Australia.
But, keen to savour the England scene again, 33-year-old Dallaglio's selection was inevitable once he had proved his fitness following an ankle injury ended his Lions tour of New Zealand last summer.
Whether or not he makes the starting line-up against Wales is nonetheless unclear, given that Robinson has considerable back-row options - including fit-again Joe Worsley, Lewis Moody, whose nine-week suspension expires this month, Worcester flanker Pat Sanderson and captain Martin Corry.
"It is great to be able to include Lawrence," Robinson said. "He has done well for London Wasps, and his appetite to play for England again is huge. However, he knows as well as anyone that the back row is a massively competitive area - and, like any player, he will need to work hard to be selected.
"Martin Corry will be the captain for the Six Nations. He was inspirational during the autumn and we believe he is the man to lead England throughout the tournament."
If Robinson plans to start with Dallaglio against Wales at Twickenham on February 4 he will either field him at blindside flanker or No 8, with Corry switched to the No 6 jersey if he decides on the latter option.
But with Corry certain of a starting berth against the Six Nations champions, Dallaglio may be confined to replacement bench duty at best - especially because his Wasps colleague Worsley is also back after missing England's autumn Tests through injury.
Only Jason Leonard, Rory Underwood and Martin Johnson have made more England appearances than Dallaglio, and his country's 2007 World Cup defence in France is a huge motivational factor after he initially stepped down from Test rugby - citing a "treadmill" environment.
He said: "I am obviously delighted to have been given the opportunity to be part of the England set-up again.
"I am very much looking forward to getting together with the squad soon. It's up to all of us now to make sure England go out and play as well as we can, and I am looking forward to competing for a place in the team."
Jonny Wilkinson, Andy Farrell and Andy Hazell were not considered because they are either injured or returning to full fitness.
The squad will meet up late on Sunday for a two-day gathering at Loughborough University before being reduced in size.
* Worcester's Australian fly-half Shane Drahm is in the England A squad for a Rome appointment with Italy next month. Drahm, who qualifies for England on residency grounds, had spells at Bristol and Northampton before linking up with the Warriors last summer.