New Zealand-born Brad Shields declared that he feels "100 per cent confident in his English blood heritage," citing the "teaspoons on the wall and chip butties on a Sunday afternoon," in his grandparents' homes in Essex and Yorkshire as proof of his connection to the cause after being selected ahead of Chris Robshaw, for the series-shaping second test against South Africa in Bloemfontein.
The furore surrounding the fast-tracking of Shields, who has only spent 11 days with his new team-mates after arriving from Dunedin following a Super Rugby game for the Hurricanes, cut no ice with Eddie Jones who stated that he has been picked on merit for what he describes as a "World Cup semi-final dress rehearsal" against the Springboks who are 1-0 up in the three Test series.
"You win, you go forward, you lose, it is the end of the tournament, so this is great practice for us," said Jones, who had no compunction in dropping Robshaw for the first time, insisting, though, the "door has not closed on his career," and adding: "Chris was obviously disappointed but not overly surprised. He is a hard taskmaster on himself and he realises that he hasn't been in great form."
There was no such negativity surrounding Shields who has been monitored by Jones since last November when he signed to play for Wasps next season.
The 27-year-old, who is also covering lock even though he has never started a match in the second row for the Hurricanes, was given no guarantees beyond the need to continue to play well. Shields' swift elevation has surprised even him, although Jones argued that he would not have been picked in the first place if he had not had confidence in his ability to step up.
"I didn't think it was going to come this early and I'm quite surprised to be in this situation right now," said Shields whose parents, Nigel and Danielle, who have re-located to Berkshire after their youthful emigration to New Zealand, are flying in to Bloemfontein on Saturday.
"With my English heritage it has always been a possibility to go down this path. For a sportsman it is always your goal to take your skills to the next level. It was time for me to move on and try something new. This opportunity was there and I thought I might as well make the most of it.
"My grandparents were very English and the way we were brought up there was a lot of English heritage: all the teaspoons on the wall, chip butties on Sunday afternoon, that sort of stuff.
"It is every man's dream to pull on an international jersey and start. My heart really started beating when I was named in the squad last week and it resonates for me. To have your name read out to start is another level up.
"I know the [England] jersey is on loan but I am 100 per cent committed. It is about making the most of this small window of opportunity. England is a perfect fit for me because of my family and my heritage. I want to put my best foot forward and prove to people that I want to do well for this [sic] club."
Jones opted for Shields over Robshaw due to his "work-rate and line-out responsibility," elements that the Harlequin has prided himself on. However, the England head coach insists that Shields "comes in like a 19-year-old [even though he is 27] and has to earn his spurs."
Robshaw, who was off the pace at Ellis Park last weekend, was one of the first to congratulate Shields, seeking him out after the announcement. Jones dismissed the idea that this axing spells the end for the 32-year-old.
The head coach has had difficulty in finding the right combination in his back row since taking over more than two years ago. There have been 23 changes in his 29 games in charge with an unchanged trio being named only 11 times. Robshaw is the most frequent presence with 22 appearances. But will he return?
"Most definitely he will come back from this," said Jones. "The door has not been closed. Players go through ups and downs. Chris realises that and accepts that he will have to do some work to get back in the side. He hasn't been in great form. We are trying to find out why but at the moment we can't."
England have been boosted by the return to fitness of lock, Joe Launchbury, who takes Nick Isiekwe's place while Danny Cipriani and Newcastle flanker, Mark Wilson, come on to the bench.
"Danny came in with a difficult reputation but he has been outstanding," said Jones. "He has dropped some body fat and I have been impressed by his diligence."
The sporting wheel has risen for him while plummeting for Robshaw. Such is sport.
England side to face South Africa: 15. Elliot Daly, 14. Jonny May, 13. Henry Slade, 12. Owen Farrell (captain), 11. Mike Brown, 10. George Ford, 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Jamie George, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Joe Launchbury, 5. Maro Itoje, 6. Brad Shields, 7. Tom Curry, 8. Billy Vunipola
Replacements: 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17. Joe Marler, 18. Harry Williams, 19. Mark Wilson, 20. Nathan Hughes, 21. Ben Spencer, 22. Danny Cipriani, 23. Denny Solomona