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Stevens set for emotional return

Matt Stevens is preparing to make an emotional return to the England team in Saturday's sold-out Investec international against Wales at Twickenham.

Stevens has not represented England since November 2008, soon after which he tested positive for cocaine and was banned from all rugby for two years. Since his return, Stevens has helped Saracens win the Aviva Premiership and is expected to be confirmed in the England line-up to face Wales in the first of three World Cup warm-up Tests.

"Given all the circumstances surrounding my comeback and how special a time it has been for me with my club and my family at home - there is more to celebrate if that were the case," said Stevens.

"I have played for England before and I know the honour that it is and I know the incredible feeling that it is to run out at Twickenham or anywhere in the world.

"It is a fantastic experience and one I hope to have again."

The England team is set to be captained by Lewis Moody, who missed the Six Nations title triumph with knee ligament damage, while Delon Armitage is in line to start at full-back.

The uncapped trio of Manu Tuilagi, Charlie Sharples and Mouritz Botha all have strong selection claims after impressing manager Martin Johnson in training.

Johnson has retained seven props in his 40-man preparation squad and so Saturday's game represents a major opportunity for Stevens to press his World Cup claims.

Stevens sees himself primarily as a tight-head prop but he played loose-head for Saracens - and that versatility will count for a great deal when Johnson trims his squad down to the final 30 for the World Cup.

"I am happy to play wherever I get picked for England," said Stevens.

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