OLLY BARKLEY headed for Paris last night ready to face the biggest test of his fledgling international career.
Barely 24 hours after being dropped, Barkley was reunited with England's fly-half jersey, drafted in to replace an injured Paul Grayson.
Grayson has failed a fitness test on the left calf muscle strain that also meant he missed England's 31-21 victory over Wales five days ago.
He was originally injured during an England training session early last week.
England head coach Sir Clive Woodward named Grayson in the starting XV for Saturday's RBS Six Nations title showdown with France, axing Barkley despite his 16-point performance against Wales. But in a rapid turn-around of fortunes, 22-year-old Barkley is now back, winning a fifth England cap.
"Clive told me yesterday that there was every chance I would be starting," said Barkley.
"I'm disappointed for Paul, but delighted to be starting, especially with the advantage of having plenty of time to prepare for the match, where I hope to improve further on my performance last Saturday."
England must win Saturday night's 80,000 sellout encounter by a mini-mum seven-point margin - and stay ahead of France on overall try-count - to retain their Six Nations crown. Eight points or more would render the try-count irrelevant.