At the time the young winger took it badly, but he now believes he has grown from the experience.
And he is ready to justify his recall after being handed a place in the starting line-up by Laporte.
"Being back with the French national team was my prime objective," Clerc said.
"I am very ambitious and I am eager to show what I am capable of during the tournament."
Clerc insists he feels no bitterness.
"I have no revenge to take, I was sidelined for sporting reasons, I had weaknesses and I called myself into question," he added.
"Now I have to prove that I have changed and progressed."
Saturday's opener will also see Fabien Pelous return as captain.
The charismatic lock, who has 86 caps to his name and wore the armband in 2001, takes over from Fabien Galthie who retired in November after Les Bleus' fourth-place finish in the World Cup.
"That is very rewarding to be given such a role," he said.
"We will work on a certain continuity, with a group who, for most of them, took part in the World Cup.
"We tackle the Six Nations with a boosted spirit and the desire to bounce back from the World Cup."
Pelous will be paired with newcomer Pascal Pape from Bourgoin who will make his debut.
Hooker William Servat, 23, will also appear for the first time in the blue shirt after being brought to the team to compensate for the retirement of Raphael Ibanez.
He was preferred to out-of-form Yannick Bru.
Scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, who will replace Galthie, will be paired with Toulouse team-mate Frederic Michalak in a totally new half-back combination.
Elissalde is not intimidated by the challenge but admits the intense atmosphere at the Stade de France could be somewhat daunting.
"Galthie was a great leader and had a huge influence on the game and the team," Elissalde said.
"I will do my best to succeed him in a worthy manner.
"I know my qualities and qualifications as a rugby player, but I must admit that I am bit scared by the Stade de France.
"The environment will be impressive on Saturday."