France team manager Jo Maso is eager to see what David Skrela is capable of against Italy on Saturday after recalling the fly-half for the first time in almost six years.
Skrela's last and only appearance with Les Bleus was back in June 2001 in their 37-12 defeat at the hands of New Zealand.
But his dazzling form this season with Stade Francais prompted coach Bernard Laporte and Maso to call him up ahead of the RBS 6 Nations - the last major tournament before the World Cup.
"We really wanted to see him back with the French team," Maso said.
"We know he is an interesting player and he has developed a lot since the start of the season. He has lost weight and grown up as a player.
"His way of understanding the game with Stade Francais is flawless. It was logical for us to take him on board again."
Skrela, who is expected to be fit despite picking up an injury against Stade Toulousain at the weekend, is delighted to have recaptured Laporte and Maso's trust.
"I am very motivated and enthusiastic," he said.
"I want to keep up the pace and confirm the progress I have made in the past few months with Stade Francais."
Full-back Clement Poitrenaud, who has been in great form for Toulouse this season but has not played for France since June last year, is also back into the group and will replace the injured Thomas Castaignede.
Sale Sharks number eight Sebastien Chabal last played for France in November 2005 against Tonga and is the third player to return to international action after a prolonged absence.
"Sebastien has been performing greatly with Sale," Maso said.
"When a player is in such good form and proves it with his club every week, he deserves to be back with the French team.
"I saw him play recently and he's progressed a lot. He is far more at ease as a number eight."
The rest of the squad consists of mostly experienced players such as Raphael Ibanez, Pieter de Villiers, Yannick Jauzion, Pascal Pape and Serge Betsen.
"We will only have a limited time to get ready ahead of the opener," Maso said.
"We'll have only four days training to brush up our preparation, that's why we preferred to take players who know what it's like to play at an international level and who know how to find their reflexes fast."
Clermont winger Aurelien Rougerie was omitted from the 22-men group as he is suspended, while captain Fabien Pelous (ankle) and fly-half Frederic Michalak (knee) have both been ruled out of the whole tournament.
After Ireland's heroic big-game hunt of the Springboks and Scotland's six-try runaround of the Pumas, the challenge of engineering the most spectacular win of the autumn series now falls on Wales, writes Peter Jackson.