Tom Wood appears likely to make his England return against South Africa on Saturday after fellow back-row forward Teimana Harrison was cut from Eddie Jones' initial squad.
Northampton Saints flanker Harrison was one of nine players released by England on Tuesday, along with Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Ben Morgan, Alex Goode, Mike Haley, Alex Lozowski, Semesa Rokoduguni and Henry Slade.
Jones therefore has 25 players at his disposal - including the uncapped quartet of Josh Beaumont, Nathan Hughes, Kyle Sinckler and Ben Te'o - ahead of this weekend's meeting with the Springboks at Twickenham.
And Wood is expected to be selected ahead of Hughes to partner Chris Robshaw and Billy Vunipola in the back row.
Wood, who last represented his country at the 2015 World Cup, was initially recalled by Jones last month after a host of back-row options were ruled out through injury.
England's matchday squad will be confirmed on Thursday.
Updated England squad to face South Africa:
Forwards: Dave Attwood, Josh Beaumont, Dan Cole, Jamie George, Dylan Hartley, Nathan Hughes, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Chris Robshaw, Kyle Sinckler, Tommy Taylor, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Tom Wood.
Backs: Mike Brown, Danny Care, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May, Ben Te'o, Marland Yarde, Ben Youngs.