The Leicester Tigers favourite has been selected at scrum-half for the Saxons in his first competitive appearance since the Heineken Cup tie away to Perpignan in mid-December.
“This is the first opportunity I have had to play for six weeks and I’m looking forward to getting out there,” said Ellis, who brings the experience of 22 senior caps and eight seasons as a Tigers first-teamer to the Saxons line-up.
Martin Johnson and the England management said that was the idea behind me being involved this week and we’ll just take it from there. I’ve not played much rugby recently so we’ll see how it goes.”
For a player who is still only 26, Ellis is in the unusual position of being among the most senior men in the team as the Saxons face Portugal.
“I think the average age in the squad is about 22,” he says.
“These are the guys who in the near future will be involved in the senior England squad. There is great talent across the board, they are a very enthusiastic bunch of players and they all obviously want to give a decent account of themselves.
“Training has been really good with Stuart Lancaster and Paul Hull. We’e had a few training sessions together and we’ve worked on the gameplan, now we’re looking forward to the game.”
England Saxons v Portugal will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 this evening. Kick-off is at 8pm.