And as he nears full fitness following an operation to repair the AC joint in his left shoulder, Flutey has his sights on emulating the players he watched in awe as a Wairarapa seven-year-old schoolboy at the inaugural 1987 World Cup.
"It was amazing to see all the superstars who were my heroes and that I looked up to," said Flutey. "I can remember it as though it was yesterday.
"The opportunity to be in the squad and go to the World Cup would be just amazing - the place will be buzzing.
"From that sense, I look back at my time in France as not a bad time in my career to have these injury problems. I had the year leading into the Lions tour and then this year with the World Cup around the corner.
"It was a great opportunity to go and play in the French league, immerse myself in the culture, learn a new language and give my children a good upbringing.
"It just comes down to the situation I was in what with being injured - I just wasn't settled at all. I tried making it work and we worked hard doing our lessons, it was just difficult coming back and forth for England duty and rehab.
"But I told my agent that my first choice was Wasps and I'm glad that Wasps picked me up."