Jonathan Joseph can still have a big impact at this year's Rugby World Cup and an injury lay-off might even help his chances, according to Bath stalwart Lee Mears. 

Joseph admitted this week even he was surprised to be recalled to the Eddie Jones' England squad for the Six Nations so soon after returning from an ankle injury. 

The back only needed 50 minutes in Bath's defeat at Toulouse in the Heineken Champions Cup to convince Jones he's ready to be thrown back into the cauldron of Test rugby. 

Rec old stager Mears, part of England's squad for the 2007 global gathering, reckons Joseph could be thanking his lucky starts for the protracted lay-off when the World Cup comes round in September

"By no means is it too late for JJ to make an impact at the World Cup," said Mears, speaking as a team captain at a training weekend for the LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge in Scotland. 

"He'll have rehabbed right, have made the right steps to have a good Six Nations - for me peaking at a World Cup is the hardest bit.

"The boys have played so much rugby and in some ways you don't wish an injury on anyone but it's a chance to reset, get totally fit and peak for the World Cup. 

"In some ways, he could be one of the most in-form players by that time. 

"You can underestimate that mental break, as well as the physical break. You spend your life playing with niggles, so to actually have a complete lay-off can be a good thing."

The 39-year-old will need to peak in April when he acts as a team captain in Wooden Spoon's attempt to break two Guinness World Records for the highest game of rugby ever played.

Mears will climb Everest alongside Wales' leading try-scorer Shane Williams, former Gloucester and Sevens star Ollie Phillips and England Women legend Tamara Taylor. 

The former hooker is now an executive coach, having retired from rugby suddenly in February 2013 after the diagnosis of a heart condition. 

16 years as a professional with Bath mean Mears knows a changing of the guard when he sees one, particularly in the front row. 

The recent signings of Will Stuart from Wasps and Christian Judge from Saracens suggest the reign of Nathan Catt, Tom Dunn and Henry Thomas up front may soon be subject to challenge.

"Bath's brand and the way they want to work is about great forward dominance, so they're always on the look out for new guys," he said. 

"They can potentially take the game on but also supplement the guys that are there at the moment.

"I think Bath are now starting to realise the evolution in how you pick players up, and if players become available you have to get in quickly at the Premiership at the moment."

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