Matt Stevens could hardly have asked for a tougher RBS 6 Nations baptism - filling the boots of an England legend at Twickenham.
The world champions play their first post-World Cup Test on home soil this weekend, when Ireland come calling.
But there will be no Jason Leonard in the England ranks after red rose supremo Sir Clive Woodward preferred Bath rookie Stevens to a player with 114 caps and 14 years of international experience.
While the England camp have spent all week playing down suggestions that Leonard's remarkable odyssey could be at an end, Stevens - all 19 stones of him - represents life after the veteran Harlequins loosehead.
Woodward rates the uncapped 21-year-old so highly that he has wasted no time pitching him into a match-day 22 at Leonard's expense.
And it would be no surprise if Stevens stayed there, such is his potential as one of English rugby's most exciting young talents in recent seasons.
Stevens, a British passport holder who was born in South Africa, has already shown a Twickenham full house what he can do.
After being drafted into the England side for last December's non-cap World Cup celebration match against the New Zealand Barbarians when Phil Vickery withdrew injured, he scored a try and performed like a seasoned veteran.
But Saturday's encounter, if he appears off the bench, will be Stevens' biggest challenge so far.
"The New Zealand Barbarians game was an incredible experience. There was so much euphoria after the World Cup, but there was also a huge feeling in the squad to carry on and improve," he said.
"It was an amazing experience for me to come in and play with those guys who had just won the World Cup.
"The pace of the game was unbelievable, so there were a few kind of fitness issues that
might have come into it, but I think I have been able to sort those out.
"The Six Nations is such a high level of rugby, and it is going to be a huge challenge for me."