An unexpected switch of allegiance has given London Irish winger Paul Sackey the opportunity to prove his England credentials at Twickenham.
Sackey was called-up by the Barbarians for their three-match tour of Britain but the scarcity of playing resources available to Sir Clive Woodward has forced England's head coach to plunder the invitational team.
Sackey - who was scheduled to play against England - is a beneficiary of the lack of manpower, winning a place on the right wing and an opportunity to show Woodward what he can do.
"I was with the Barbarians originally and was going to play against England. But obviously I would much rather turn out in England colours," said the Exiles' player of the season for 2002-03.
"I was surprised to be called up by Clive. I was halfway through the Barbarians trip - I was supposed to play against Wales on Wednesday night - and then I received the phone call. I was a bit shocked. Shocked but happy.
"Everyone has ambitions of being selected for the senior England side and I'm no different. I'm just going to go out and play as well as I can. Hopefully that will be enough to show Clive my full potential."
The left-wing berth will be filled by England Under-21 international Marcel Garvey, a lethal runner whose combination of speed, strength and a low centre of gravity makes him a nightmare to contain.
But, despite boasting so much firepower out wide, Sackey insists England will be looking to adopt their usual gameplan - leaving the fancy stuff to the traditionally cavalier Barbarians.
"There is a bit of pace on the wings in Marcel and I. He's a great player and has had an awesome season," said the former Wasps and Bedford back.
"But we're not going to get into Barbarians style. We'll just try and play in a structured way. We'll go through the phases and do what we're supposed to do. We won't be throwing the ball around, although if there's a gap it's going to get taken."
Robin McBryde was assistant coach with Wales during the Championship
27 March 2017, 11:19am
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