Paul Grayson admits he was taken by surprise when England coach Clive Woodward gave him the call for the RBS 6 Nations Championship clash with Scotland.
Grayson had already taken the first steps towards his life after being a rugby player by undertaking coaching roles with his club Northampton after four years out of the international scene.
But now, following the serious knee injury which has struck down Jonny Wilkinson's young fly-half understudy Charlie Hodgson, Grayson will resume his international career on the replacements' bench when England face Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.
Woodward likened his situation to that of a player winning his first cap and Grayson, who will be 32 in May, has no arguments with that assessment.
"I thought it wouldn't happen again but a few weeks back Woody gave me a call about playing for the A team and explained his reasoning for it. Then I started thinking I was in with an outside chance," he said.
"He told me it was about the A team being the next best 22 and no longer a development side, and playing people who if someone got injured or lost form could step up."