Ugo Monye turned down lucrative moves to France because he was not prepared to give up on his England career after 13 caps and with his last memory being carted off the field at Murrayfield.
Monye has been recalled to England's senior squad for the QBE autumn internationals after a blistering start to the season and he is poised to feature against Fiji on November 10.
"It would have shown a real lack of ambition from me to go to France," Monye said. "I am an ambitious player. Thirteen caps. You want to achieve all you can achieve and I didn't feel as if I had done that."
Since his last appearance for England in 2010, Monye has struggled with injuries which affected his form and confidence. But he never gave up on his England ambitions.
The sense of unfinished business with both club and country persuaded him to turn down Racing Metro and stick with Harlequins. The first reward came last season, when the club won their first Aviva Premiership title. Monye hopes the second will unfold this autumn.
He added: "It was a huge decision whether to stay at Quins or go abroad. It affects everything.
"I thought if I was in France, watching the Harlequins boys win the Premiership on TV, I really would have been heartbroken.
"England was part of it too. If you go to France you put yourself out of the England picture."
England backs coach Andy Farrell has seen a renewed vigour about Monye's game, a hunger to improve this season that had not been as evident in recent years.
"Sometimes when you lose a bit of confidence it can give the impression that your hunger has gone because you are trying to find your feet and get your basics back," Monye said. "Fortunately for me I am playing with confidence now, scoring tries and Quins are flying high at the top of the Premiership. I have got a hunger."