Olly Barkley may not have been in line for the captaincy, but the Bath centre can take much of the credit for England's improvement through the RBS 6 Nations.
Barkley can be found stalking the corridors of England's luxurious Surrey base late at night, using his own time to sit down and talk with his team-mates, building relationships he believes will enhance an inexperienced team come the big kick-off.
Five England captains have been involved in one way or another this season - Jonny Wilkinson has been staying at the camp; Phil Vickery and Matt Dawson have been in the squad, Jason Robinson and now Martin Corry have led the side - but Barkley takes pride in the influence he has had on a growing team this year.
''When I played in the summer I was asked to come on and make an impact. I saw my role as one to inject some spark into the backline,'' he said.
''I have adopted more of an organisational role in the Six Nations. It is not one I have done on purpose, but I've seen we haven't had the relationships in the side, we haven't had that cohesiveness that sides of old have had.
''A lot of my role as a playmaker is to find out what other people like to do. There is no point making someone do something they don't normally do or like to do.
''I am rooming with Iain Balshaw. We are good mates. I chat to Balsh at night about what he likes to do during the game, how he likes to take the ball and how he likes to get involved in the game.
''To establish individual relationships with players is very important. Charlie Hodgson and I have it. We spend a lot of time talking.''
Balshaw was promoted to the England side after Jason Robinson was ruled out with a thumb injury and Barkley is confident the Leeds captain will bring something new to the party.
''Jason is much more of a freak. Jason is able to do things other players simply can't do. He is an out-and-out attacker, but Balsh is an out-and-out fullback,'' said Barkley.
''Jason is a 30-metre man, whereas Balsh can sustain his pace and maintain his line for 10 yards longer. He is very vocal from the back, he offers good suggestions and ideas.''
England flanker James Haskell insists he will be pushing as hard as possible to be back from a toe injury in time to make his case for a spot in Eddie Jones' side looking to defend their RBS 6 Nations title next year.