Brad Shields looks set to tour South Africa with England in June after handing in a formal request to the New Zealand Rugby Union.
The New Zealand-born flanker, who qualifies for England through his parents, will join Wasps later this year.
England head coach Eddie Jones sees the flanker as part of his plans going through to next year’s World Cup.
But the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) says it will make the final decision on 27-year-old Shields’ availability.
“We’ve only just this morning got a formal request to consider releasing Brad,” NZRU boss Steve Tew told the NZ Herald.
“He’s contracted to New Zealand until the end of Super Rugby [in August].”