Steffon Armitage
Steffon Armitage made his last England appearance in 2010 Getty Images/David Rogers

Steffon Armitage is set to revive his hopes of playing for England at the 2015 World Cup by leaving Toulon for Bath or Saracens.

Armitage is ineligible under Rugby Football Union regulations that state only players operating in their homeland can be selected for international fixtures. While he has been in charge, England head coach Stuart Lancaster has never selected the 29-year-old.

The former London Irish player had attempted to secure a passport in order to play for France's sevens team at the Rio 2016 Olympics but the International Rugby Board has stated any player wishing to compete must play in at least four World Series Sevens tournaments prior to the Games.

Having abandoned those efforts, Armitage is ready to stage a late bid to be included in England's World Cup plans by joining either Bath or former side Saracens in a permanent or loan deal.

Toulon boss Bernard Laporte told BBC Sport: "The season's begun. We have to be quick if he wants to change. He has a contract [with Toulon] but if the England coach says if he plays for Bath or for Saracens then he will play in the World Cup, I think he has to play for these clubs."

Armitage, whose brother is England and Toulon full-back Delon, has five England caps to his name and has played a significant role in Toulon's dominance of European rugby, winning the continent's player of the year award earlier in 2014 after the Top 14 side claimed successive Heineken Cups.

And Armitage can be confident of winning a place in the England team despite less than a year to go until the start of the World Cup, having not had the door closed on him by Lancaster.

"Stuart said that the RFU rules are probably not going to change but that the door is not wholly closed," Armitage said.

"England want to put the best team out for the Rugby World Cup and they are just looking into the situation as to what any availability might be for camps and stuff. None of that is up to me. All I can do, and want to do, is keep my head down and play as well as I can.

"Of course I'd love to play for England again. I have never given up on that. I knew what the consequences were when I extended my contract but I knew that I wanted to be the best player I could possibly be and that means staying here. At least I know now that I am not completely out of people's minds."