Although England have shown growing signs of rugby expression, coach Stuart Lancaster has settled on a yeoman rather than showman approach for their opening November test with the All Blacks at Twickenham.
He has ignored a plea from former national coach Clive Woodward to include exciting but erratic performers such as Danny Cipriani and Chris Pennell, opting instead for men who can deliver consistent work through to the World Cup.
Flighty does not cut it for Lancaster who has implored his men to target consistently high standards in their quest for success next month and through to hosting the eighth global tournament next year.
He wants men who are unselfish and team-focused and has challenged them to lift their work to emulate the consistent production Johnny Wilkinson showed throughout his long career.
Lancaster has left Cipriani, Pennell, Chris Ashton, Ben Foden and Freddie Burns out of his 33-man squad and seven-man standby group to prepare for the All Blacks arrival at Twickenham on November 8.
Flanker Chris Robshaw remains skipper and if his selections survive the next few rounds of club rugby, Lancaster wants to play Owen Farrell at five eighths and Kyle Eastmond and Brad Barritt as his centres.
Remember Eastmond? He played second-five in the third test in Hamilton but was dragged off after an unhappy defensive hour with all sorts of dire predictions about his test future.
But his club form for Bath has persuaded Lancaster and his selectors to give him another shot.
"For me he has been the best attacking inside centre this season," Lancaster told the Guardian.
"What he's shown in the Premiership - and for us in training - is his ability to take the ball to the line and make good decisions off the back of it.
"It's made us sit up and take notice in terms of his potential to start for us against the All Blacks," he said.
With Manu Tuilagi sidelined for weeks with a groin strain, Barritt will be asked to bring his Conrad Smith-type organisation and defensive accuracy to play at centre.
He is used to either midfield role, where his play has reflected everything about his commitment to the team philosophy.
Without the injured Ma'a Nonu and Tuilagi, the All Blacks and England's midfield would be similar physical matches unless the visitors chose to use the code-hopping Sonny Bill Williams, who has had a limited diet of rugby.
If England get injuries or have a rethink, they can use bigger men Billy Twelvetrees and Luther Burrell, who played in midfield through the last Six Nations.
Lancaster will be keeping a strong and nervous gaze this week on Farrell who returns to play after only four minutes of work in the last month. He has been troubled by a thigh injury, and his trip to New Zealand in June was cut short by a knee problem.
New faces in the squad are Semesa Rokoduguni on the wing, lock George Kruis and flanker Calum Clark.