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."