Henry Trinder says chronic injury problems left him contemplating retirement, but he is determined to "enjoy and embrace" his England recall.
The Gloucester back, 29, will start at outside centre against the Barbarians on Sunday.
He played in the same fixture seven years ago, but then suffered a series of injuries.
"I got closer than I would have liked [to retirement]," he told BBC Radio 5 live.
"You do think about it, and you have nights when you lie awake and mope around the house. But it was a good decision that I didn't.
"The reason I was thinking about retirement was the mental disappointment of going through it all again. I blew out my knee in 2015, had nine months to get back from that, came back and did it again.
"I had about four or five injuries before that one and I did just think it was my body saying 'this is not for you'."
Trinder says the support of his family helped him through the difficult times, and after an outstanding season for Gloucester he is now firmly in England head coach Eddie Jones' plans.
"You have those time in sport when you do get down, and you have to almost ride that rollercoaster," he added.
"With the help of your family, your wife, and your friends around you, you get back on the horse and go again.
"Those lows are what make these highs even better. To represent your country is a true honour and something I am really looking forward to.
"I am here to prove a point, and enjoy and embrace everything."
Trinder was drafted into camp by Jones as injury cover for Sale's Cameron Redpath, who had knee surgery on Thursday.
"We've been really impressed with Henry Trinder," Jones told BBC Radio 5 live. "I know he was a very good young player who had a tough time with injury.
"He has come into camp full of enthusiasm, a sense of maturity, and he has really impressed us."