The 25-year old centre-back is not in Roy Hodgson's Three Lions squad for Wednesday's friendly with Scotland but Hughes feels a door could soon be open for the talented Shawcross who has played once his country so far.
"First and foremost, and he will tell you the same, his priority is to be a success here and do well," Hughes told The Sentinel.
"But I have had conversations with him and the England situation is one he feels he can be a part of again.
"If he has a good season with us, and it is World Cup year, who knows? He is certainly capable of playing international level.
"He is enjoying having more responsibility in possession. And having more possession gives you a rest so that when he has to defend he can be more dynamic."