Lewis Moody has told of how he has sought the help of a sports psychologist to stop him exploding "in a manner I wouldn't want" on the rugby pitch.
The Leicester star - nicknamed Crazy Horse and Mad Dog - has assured England fans that he is intending to produce one of his trademark no-fear displays against opening RBS 6 Nations opponents Wales.
He was magnificent during the World Cup, tearing into opposition players without the slightest regard for his personal safety.
Moody’s all-action performances were instrumental behind England climbing off the canvas and almost retaining their world title during 36 days of head-spinning activity from Paris to Marseille and back again last autumn.
He is arguably in the form of his life, with Saturday’s Twickenham head-to-head against imperious Wales flanker Martyn Williams promising rich entertainment.
And psychology has played its part in Moody recovering brilliantly from the ignominy of being the first England player sent off during a Test match at Twickenham.
A nine-week ban ensued after he was dismissed for fighting against Samoa in November 2005, with that suspension following a six-week sentence imposed just two months earlier when he threw a punch in a Leicester second team game.
Moody said: “I have only been banned twice in my career, and they both came in the same season.
“At that point, I thought there was something strange going on.
“I had been playing for 10 years and never been sent off or banned, and I had two periods of suspension in one season.
“I then just took it on myself to see if there was anything I could do to make sure it didn’t happen again.
“I went to see a sports psychologist after the Samoa game when I got sent off, and I still see him on and off now. In fact, I spoke to him before the World Cup.
“It actually just helps me approach periods of time when I am out of the game, like through injury.
“I get very frustrated when I am not able to play, and that tends to get exaggerated when I am off. Then when I am allowed out on to the pitch again, it could explode in a manner that I wouldn’t want.
“It is about controlling your mind that if something happens during a game you would react instinctively to, you now set your mind somewhere else.
“I still play the game the way I have always played the game - it just means I don’t go and do stupid things like getting sent off.
“It (psychology) has been something absolutely worth doing.
“I was never an advocate of things like that in the past because sometimes I saw it as my own sign of mental weakness and I could sort it out myself.
“But once you are open to the idea, then it does help.”