The oldest trick in the public relations play-book isn't normally an option in international sport. In the wake of a bad defeat, it's not unusual for a pro team to announce a few contract extensions or a new signing they've been sitting on for just this kind of rainy day when they need to move the story on and lift spirits.
For once, it was a card the IRFU media team could play last week and it was no surprise to see James Lowe front and centre of their social media effort as they looked to change the conversation from their cranky old captain to their shiny new wing.
Over the past decade, the union has been playing the transfer market in an attempt to broaden their talent pool and fill gaps on the depth chart.
Lowe will become the 11th 'special project' player to play for Ireland since Richardt Strauss faced his native South Africa in 2012.
He is one of the last of a dying breed. The cynical exploitation of World Rugby's residency laws by a number of unions, including Ireland's, forced the governing body, under pressure from former vice-chairman Agustin Pichot, to extend the eligibility period from three to five years.
Lowe was part of a late rush before the cut-off in 2017. That winter, Roman Salanoa arrived from Hawaii, Jarrad Butler came from Australia, Chris Cloete, Keynan Knox and Matt More arrived from South Africa. Salanoa, Knox and More - who has since returned to the Stormers - were 20 or under when they arrived.
Not all will be capped - for every CJ Stander there's a Gerhard van den Heever - but from the moment he arrived the Irish management have been counting down the days until they could get Lowe into the team.
If he's picked on Friday night against Wales, it will be at the expense of a home-grown Irish player. Either Jacob Stockdale, Andrew Conway or Hugo Keenan will miss out.
On ability alone, it will be a fair call. Lowe is an outstanding player, one who will add so much to the Irish team. For Andy Farrell, the decision to pick him is a no-brainer.
And Lowe, a four-times-capped Maori who previously described the residency laws as "stupid" and almost played for the All Blacks, there is no reason for him to feel anything but pride. He is an Irish-qualified player being picked to do his job.
He has the capacity to join the blue-chip club of project players, joining Stander, Bundee Aki and Jared Payne.
Stander's contribution has been immeasurable. Munster's Player of the Year for the three of the last six seasons, the South African back-row will, injury-permitting, win his 50th cap in the new year. Considering he couldn't make his debut until he was 26, it's a remarkable achievement.
When he latched on to Aki's pass to score a crucial try in Ireland's Grand Slam win at Twickenham, some saw it as a rebuke to those who criticise the union's policy of signing players to play for Ireland.
Yet, even among the highest ranking figures in the squad there are misgivings. Take the then captain Rory Best, who wrote in his autobiography of his scepticism about shows of passion from his newly minted Irishmen.
"Some South Africans I played with in the Ireland team who were in tears during the anthems and I would think: Do me a favour, that is just for show," he wrote.
Best captained Stander, Aki, Payne, Quinn Roux and Jean Kleyn - whose inclusion at last year's World Cup ahead of Devin Toner brought the topic to the fore once again.
The issue is emotive and often the players involved, whose photographs naturally adorn pieces like this one, feel the ire is directed at them.
But it is senseless to criticise an individual who has taken up a chance to play in another country with the carrot of playing at the top level.
Rather, it is the union who face accusations of cheapening the jersey by offering it as an incentive to players who have not yet been capped by the country that produced them.
The union would argue that a country of Ireland's size cannot compete without what, no doubt, they see as creative thinking. However, the same organisation choose not to pick home-grown players based abroad like Simon Zebo and Donnacha Ryan.
They'd point to the contribution of Stander, Aki, Jared Payne and Strauss and the excitement being generated by Lowe's availability. They would also point to the enduring popularity of the team.
Both sides of the argument think they're right and, whenever the topic comes up, the debate becomes increasingly toxic.
Thankfully, by removing the loophole World Rugby have acted to bring the chapter to a close. Lowe and Co will be symbols of an era that, for many, diminished the international game through no fault of their own.
1 CJ Stander (43 caps)
A 2017 Lion, the South African is a central figure for Ireland.
2 Bundee Aki (28 caps)
An exceptional signing for Connacht, he’s a durable, consistent presence.
3 Jared Payne (20 caps)
Ulster defence coach bridged gap between Brian O’Driscoll and Garry Ringrose.
4 Richardt Strauss (17 caps)
Strauss went to the 2015 World Cup and is now back in South Africa.
5 Nathan White (13 caps)
Mike Ross’s back-up at the 2015 World Cup, now coaching Waikato.
6 Quinn Roux (12 caps)
Connacht centurion Roux is in Irish squad.
7 Jean Kleyn (5 caps)
Fast-tracked into Ireland’s 2019 World Cup, he hasn’t been picked since.
8 Rodney Ah You (3 caps)
Now at Newcastle, Schmidt capped the former Kiwi U-20 prop three times in 2014.
9 Robbie Diack (2 caps)
Played 205 times for Ulster. Now coaching schools rugby in South Africa.
10 Jamison Gibson Park (2 caps)
Maori All Black is Conor Murray’s back-up.
Uncapped but available: Roman Salanoa, Chris Cloete, Keynan Knox, Rhys Marshall (Munster); Jarrad Butler (Connacht), Louis Ludik (Ulster), James Lowe (Leinster)