A year ago, it would have been close to unthinkable for Harlequins to rest Chris Robshaw, the England captain and just about the most consistent performer in Premiership rugby, for a key league fixture.
However, the reigning champions will attempt to silence a full house at Gloucester tonight without the services of their star turn.
Startlingly, Robshaw is not even on the bench.
The decision of Conor O'Shea, the Londoners' rugby director, to give his main man a complete break confirms two things: that Robshaw is not quite as indefatigable as he appears – he looked tired during the painful defeat at Saracens last weekend – and that Quins now have enormous trust in his understudy, the 22-year-old academy product Luke Wallace, whose recent performances have not been lost on England coach Stuart Lancaster.
Wallace may have been a central figure in the shadow side responsible for the club's latest triumph – Quins won the Anglo-Welsh Cup a little under a fortnight ago – but the responsibility of restoring stability to a league campaign that has started to look a little rocky, is a different matter entirely. (© Independent News Service)