Harlequins Director of Rugby Conor O'Shea has backed his team's captain Nick Easter to be recalled by England for the Autumn Internationals after he led the team to a 22-9 win away over Leicester on Saturday.
Victory, in a repeat of last season's Premiership final where Quins beat Leicester 30-23 at Twickenham in May, left the Londoners on top of the table with four wins in as many matches.
It was also the first time Leicester had lost at home since Quins stormed the Welford Road fortress 27-18 in October.
Experienced No 8 Easter, who hasn't played for England since winning his 47th cap in the World Cup quarter-final defeat by France in Auckland last year, led the way as Red Rose boss Stuart Lancaster watched from the stands.
Lancaster has been looking to blood a new generation of internationals but former Ireland full-back O'Shea insisted the 34-year-old Easter still had plenty to offer heading into this November's international programme.
"To me he is the best No 8 in England," said O'Shea.
"I don't care whether you are 19 or 34, if you are the best you are the best."
"For the last year he has been playing absolutely unbelievable rugby for us, and long may that continue. I thought he was magnificent tonight, taking the fight to them.
"I don't want to comment on other No 8s, all I know is what we see and what we have in Nick.
"He drives the group, he is incredibly ambitious and proud. He has not written off his international career.
"(New Zealand's) Brad Thorn was older than he was playing in and winning the last World Cup. If he (Easter) can keep himself in shape and plays the rugby he does, he will knock his way back in there."
Quins scored the only try of the match through wing Tom Williams while former All Blacks fly-half Nick Evans kicked four penalties and a conversion, with England scrum-half Danny Care adding a drop-goal.
All of Leicester's points came courtesy of three penalties from England fly-half Toby Flood.
"We lacked composure when we had opportunities, which is disappointing," said Leicester coach Richard Cockerill.
Elsewhere London Irish ended a dreadful run of results with a 29-22 win at home to Bath.
The Exiles kicked off bottom of the table after three straight defeats, having conceded 40 or more points in all of those matches.
But tries from Tongan prop Halani Aulika, on his club debut, and centre Jonathan Joseph allied to determined defence saw Irish climb the table.
Exiles centre Steve Shingler kicked 19 points with five penalties and two conversions as Bath's Olly Barkley -- who, is leaving for France after next week's home game against Sale -- also kicked five penalties and converted a try from former rugby league wing Kyle Eastmond.
Delighted Exiles boss Brian Smith praised his side's resilience.
"I felt our team were very brave and gallant. We had to fight a lot of adversity," said former England backs coach Smith, who played Test rugby for both Australia and Ireland.
Elsewhere Gloucester defeated Wasps 29-22 with former England international James Simpson-Daniel scoring a superb 30 metre try for the victorious hosts after beating four defenders.
Northampton survived a huge scare when, having been 37-3 up, they saw Worcester rally before clinging on for a 37-31 victory.