Wales head coach Warren Gatland urged the nation not to expect too much too soon from fly-half James Hook after dropping him to the bench for next week's RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy.
Hook has been replaced by Stephen Jones as one of six changes to the side that started Saturday’s 30-15 victory over Scotland.
The 22-year-old would have every right to feel aggrieved at being replaced, given the contribution he has made to Wales’ unbeaten start to the championship.
It was his break at Twickenham which set up Lee Byrne for Wales’ first try which sparked their sensational comeback win over England.
And on Saturday he was involved in Shane Williams’ opening try and then scored one of his own in a personal haul of 15 points.
Gatland replaced Hook and scrum-half Mike Phillips with 20 minutes remaining at the weekend because he wanted the experienced pair of Jones and Dwayne Peel to guide Wales home.
The same half-back partnership will start against Italy a week on Saturday - but Gatland insists Hook, like all those who started the opening two wins, remains first choice.
“The guys who have played in the first couple of games are in the box seat at the moment,” Gatland said.
“It is a chance for the guys who have performed really well for us off the bench to push for places.
“James is a very young player with a huge amount of potential. I think he will be a great player for Wales going forward.
“You can’t put the weight of the nation on his shoulders.
“He deserves to have time to do the things he does brilliantly, which we have already seen in the first two games.
“But also give him a little bit of space to make errors and not be harshly penalised for them. We have given him a little bit of breathing space.
“James is disappointed to be left out but everyone has been pushing and fighting for their position.
“We have created a real healthy environment that all 28 players feel they have an opportunity.”
Nevertheless, Gatland admits he would “look stupid” if Wales lose at home to Italy next week after he made so many changes.
As well as swapping the half-backs, Gatland has picked a new front row of Gethin Jenkins, Rhys Thomas and hooker Matthew Rees to face the powerful Azzurri pack.
The other change comes on the wing, where Mark Jones, who was dropped after the win over England, returns in place of weekend debutant Jamie Roberts.
“I am going to look pretty stupid aren’t I if we don’t win,” said Gatland.
“The players coming in have a massive responsibility to do the job. Italy have shown in the first couple of games that if we underestimate them we could embarrass ourselves.”