Phil Vickery is resigned to being without fellow World Cup-winner Jonny Wilkinson when he begins his reign as England's new rugby captain.
Newcastle have virtually ruled Wilkinson, who has not played for England since the 2003 World Cup, out of the first RBS Six Nations match against Scotland next month.
"We all want to see Jonny playing for England. I don't think there is a rugby supporter in England who doesn't want to see that," said Vickery.
"If he's not involved against Scotland it's disappointing but it's what's right for Jonny.
"He's had a few setbacks and disappointments and we have to do whatever's right for him. He's a strong enough character to make that decision."
Patience has paid off for Vickery, who has returned from career-saving back surgery to be appointed as Martin Corry's replacement as England captain in the run up to this summer's World Cup finals in France by new head coach Brian Ashton.
"There's been a lot of low points but you have to be realistic and remember I've been given some fantastic opportunities and have been lucky enough to be involved in some wonderful things with rugby.
"When you have the low points it makes you realise just how much you love the game and how much you want to get back," he said.
Despite England's poor run of form, Vickery, who marked his return to the side by coming off the bench and scoring the try which secured their 23-21 victory over South Africa - their only win in four autumn internationals - is relishing the forthcoming Six Nations.
England's decline after being crowned world champions in 2003 has seen them finish fourth in both of the last two Six Nations campaigns.
Vickery, the 30-year-old prop forward who has revived his injury-threatened career since moving to Wasps during the summer after 11 years with Gloucester, knows their European rivals will be eyeing victory over a combination of youth and experience in Ashton's much-changed squad.
"Rightly so, but it's up to the squad to prove them wrong. There's nothing easy any more. It's going to be a good test for us, a good test of character for me, the coaches and the players," he added.
"New coach, new team and Twickenham first game against Scotland. It's a great opportunity for us to make a statement to people of what our intent is.
"I'm not naive enough to think its all going to be roses. I know it's a huge challenge but it's one I'm really looking forward to."
England's preparations for the Autumn International series were potentially dealt a further blow as Maro Itoje was forced to undergo an x-ray after Saracens' European victory over Scarlets on Saturday night.