Bruce is aware that England officials will be at the Stadium of Light and supposes that if Bent can perform that surely his stocks will rise ahead of the World Cup.
"I know the England representatives are here at the weekend," said Bruce.
"If you take [Wayne] Rooney out of the equation, he's almost got more goals than [Jermain] Defoe, [Peter] Crouch and [Emile] Heskey put together, so surely he must be in with an outstanding chance to take part in the squad.
"In big games you need somebody to score you a goal and God forbid if something happened to Rooney, have we got enough firepower from people who can score a goal?
"We have watched Darren repeatedly now, not just this year, but even last year he got close to 20 goals and played half the games, and I remember him scoring 22 for Charlton when they were relegated, so we know he is capable in a great league.
"I just hope he gets his reward."