Jamie Roberts compares his punishing first experience as an international centre with being spun around in a washing machine.
But Roberts will have the last laugh if Wales justify their pre-match billing tomorrow by taking England to the cleaners.
The powerhouse Cardiff Blues centre produced a stunning display in Wales’ RBS 6 Nations opener last weekend, scattering Scottish defenders to all parts of Murrayfield.
Roberts’ performance had Lions Test material stamped all over it, made all the more impressive given it was only his eighth Test match appearance.
After starting a richly-promising international career on the wing, then at full-back last year, he has quickly become Wales’ centre of attention.
At 6ft 4in tall and only four pounds shy of 17 stone, it is difficult to miss the 22-year-old medical student.
Stopping him in his tracks on the pitch though, is an altogether different proposition - as England could be about to discover.
Such has been Roberts’ impact for Wales that he is already classed among their principal game-breakers, bracketed alongside the likes of Andy Powell, Shane Williams and Lee Byrne.
And he is living proof that short-term pain - literally, in his case - equates to long-term gain.
Roberts vividly recalls the first time he wore Wales’ number 12 shirt, the position he will occupy in tomorrow’s Millennium Stadium showdown.
It could hardly have been a tougher prospect - world champions South Africa at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria last summer - and he wasn’t disappointed.
“I played 12 in the second Test, and I got up the next morning and felt like I had been in a washing machine,” said Roberts.
“My whole body was just totally aching with the knocks.
“It was a total contrast to how I would feel the morning after playing at 15 or on the wing. It’s just massively different, physically.
“But even though I felt really sore afterwards, I thoroughly enjoyed the role during the game, and as I’ve played there I have become more comfortable.
“I owe a massive thanks to Dai Young (Blues head coach) for giving me the chance to play there this season, and it has turned out for the good so far.
“It’s the distribution and vision which I am trying to bring into my game a bit more now, not just carrying the ball.
“It is a totally different position to playing anywhere in the back three, and I am still learning.
“I am feeding off other people, like the experienced guys here and at the Blues, and just learning off them.
“I love the physical side of the game. It’s one of the things I play rugby for, just getting stuck in and that challenge on the body and the mind.
“I have played 12 all this season, and fingers crossed I will stay there.”