HE will lose up to four of his top stars - but Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea insists he will have a smile on his face during the Six Nations.
Chris Robshaw, Joe Marler, Mike Brown and Jordan Turner-Hall are in the new Elite Player Squad (EPS), announced last week, with Karl Dickson, Chris Brooker, Joe Gray, George Robson and Ugo Monye in the Saxons.
But while many of Quins' rivals griped about the amount of players they lost for the World Cup earlier this season, O'Shea is not worried about losing his next month.
He said: “We want our players playing for England as if reflects well on them, on their team-mates and on the whole club, but we won't lose them all at the same time – the Saxons players will be available during the Six Nations.
“We have built a squad where anybody can step in at any time. We may only have lost three players to the World Cup, but we had a big injury list, and lads like Luke Wallace, Chris York, Sam Smith, Seb Stegmann and Karl Dickson came in and did superbly.”
There was no place for Nick Easter or Danny Care, the latter due to his ban for drink driving, in the latest EPS, but O'Shea believes they will be back playing for England – along with some of his other growing stars.
He added: “Nick has not given up on England at all, and Danny will go straight back in when his ban is up, but we also have fellas like Tom Guest, George Robson, Joe Gray and Ugo Monye who I think will play for the full squad before long.”