FIT-AGAIN full-back Chris Pennell says he hasn’t given up his dream of playing for England at next year’s World Cup.

The Worcester Warriors ace made his England Test debut against New Zealand in Auckland in June.

Pennell has since had a groin operation and made his first Warriors’ appearance since September as a second-half replacement in last week’s 32-29 win over Jersey in the Greene King IPA Championship.

And the 27-year-old is due to start today’s British and Irish Cup Pool Three clash against Midlands rivals Moseley at Sixways (3pm).

Warriors are top of the pool and aiming to keep up their winning form in a bid to reach the knockout stages of the competition.

“The England camp spoke to me before their autumn squad was announced and they said that, with me being injured, they weren’t going to consider me — and I knew that anyway,” said Pennell.

“All the conversations I’ve had with the England coaches have been very positive and they want to see me playing and enjoying my rugby again, which is what I want to do too.

“Hopefully, I have got the injury behind me and I can just concentrate on playing and staying fit for the rest of the season.

“If I am doing my stuff on the pitch and I am going well then, who knows, maybe the England coaches will consider me.”

Pennell played the final 30 minutes in the last-gasp win over Jersey and is expected to be involved against Moseley today.

He said: “We know that we need to be playing well to put teams to bed.

“We realise guys playing against us will have huge motives to get one over on Worcester and they will also want to put themselves in the shop window. It’s going to be tough.

“Having been down in the Championship a few years ago, the standard has definitely gone up.

“It was high back then but it has improved again.”

Pennell has been impressed with Warriors’ performances in his absence and says it’s great to see the players making progress.

“I have been really impressed with Ryan Mills — he’s looked like a class act and has got a lot of time on the ball and puts people into space,” said Pennell.

“Another exciting player is Max Stelling, who loves to attack and both the wingers — Sam Smith and Tom Biggs — have done fantastically well.

“It would be an awful lot of fun to play outside those two guys and Ryan Lamb is coming into the mix as well — these are guys who like to play rugby and that means more ball in hand for me.

“Biggs has scored a lot of tries from nothing, just pure individual brilliance.”

Pennell says Warriors’ relegation from the Premiership at the end of last season was a disappointment but has led to intense competition for places in the squad.

“Competition is what all good rugby clubs need,” added Pennell.

“Competition is vital and it’s great to see home-grown young talent coming through and pushing players out of starting spots or pushing regular starters on to even greater performances.

“Last season was difficult to give youngsters opportunities consistently because we were playing in the Premiership.

“We are in a slightly different situation this season so we can afford to give the young guys a chance and chuck them out for two or three weeks to see how they fare.”