Injured England captain Lewis Moody is pushing for an RBS 6 Nations return against France - and would come back even earlier if he had his way.
The Bath flanker is recovering after tearing ligaments in his right knee and was initially expected to miss the first three games of the championship. However, he is determined to be involved ahead of schedule in the match against Les Bleus at Twickenham on February 26.
He told the Daily Telegraph: "I'll be back for that third game against France, fighting fit, raring to go."
Commenting on the Italy game at Twickenham a fortnight earlier, Moody added: "It's probably not in the physios' minds (for him to return for that game). But it is in mine."
Moody believes he is growing into his role as captain, and is frustrated he will not be able to lead England from the start of the campaign.
He said: "I've got more comfortable with the job. It is gnawing away at me a little bit to not be playing against Wales but, fingers crossed, it will only be for a couple of games."