It is never easy for a leading man to make the step down to an understudy's role, but you would not have known that from the delight on the face of Ryan Jones on Saturday evening.
He has grown a beard, but even now, at the age of 28, he looks somehow too boyish to be an international lock.
It was rough, it was tough, and if there was poetry in the occasion – other than the verses by Owen Sheers, the Welsh Rugby Union's writer in residence, printed in the match programme – it was that of the coal face and the blast furnace.
Those Irish players who love to accuse their English counterparts of arrogance have clearly not met Stuart Lancaster.
Stuart Lancaster will be formally interviewed next week for the role of permanent England head coach vacated by Martin Johnson.
Wales are ignoring the mess France find themselves in as they chase a third grand slam in eight seasons.
The presence of the Rugby Football Union's chief executive, Ian Ritchie, at the team hotel in Bagshot on Tuesday has further stoked speculation that England's search for a permanent head coach is nearing its conclusion.