London: In his own words, Ben Mowen would have been happy ''carrying the drinks'' on the spring tour. The 28-year-old could be forgiven for thinking the Wallabies captaincy was beyond his reach at the start of this year.
He was one season into a career rebuild at the Brumbies after being shown the door at the Waratahs 18 months earlier.
''It's a great privilege and not one that is lost on me,'' he said. ''I've waited a long time to play England in England and personally, just to be part of that I, like the rest of the team, am super excited by that.
''To receive [the captaincy] honour is very special. I'll be making sure I do my best to ensure we can contribute to a result on Saturday.''
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie told Mowen on Monday he would captain the team against England.
The Brumbies No.8 said it was business as usual, with neither he nor James Horwill wasting any time dissecting what was arguably the biggest decision of McKenzie's time at the helm to date.
''We haven't really felt the need to sit down and hold hands and talk about it,'' Mowen said. ''We've both just gotten on with our jobs. Me and 'Kev' have been mates for a very long time and we've got a very good balance when we work together.
''He's going to have a huge role for us on Saturday in terms of leadership. Whether you have a 'c' next to your name or not, he's a leader and I know he'll be looking to put a huge performance in.''
Huge performances filled with little moments, or ''the shitters'', as they are known in rugby. Mowen is big on ''the shitters'' - the barely visible extras on the field that invariably make the difference at Test level.
''A winger will get praised for the ball but a 'shitter' will be the guy who went in that clean-out, dived over the ball before it happened,'' Mowen's Brumbies teammate Matt Toomua said. ''Shitters are a sign of character. It's what I love about rugby and that's what Ben is very hard on. It can change games and it's a sign of effort and respect for your teammates.''
It will all count at Twickenham, a stadium England coach Stuart Lancaster wants his team to consider their fortress leading into the 2015 World Cup. For the first time under McKenzie, the Wallabies will not be able to claim inexperience as their disadvantage alone.
Lancaster will start a host of inexperienced players, including uncapped centre Joel Tomkins, and six others with fewer than 10 Tests under their belts. England will be missing experienced forwards Alex Corbisiero and Geoff Parling too. But Mowen believes Lancaster's decision to reward form will make England tough to contain. ''They've married their game up well over the past couple of years,'' he said. ''They've done the basics extremely well and then they've had the ability to play out of them, whereas in the past they've tried to hammer home the basics and keep hammering them home. They'll have balance to their game.''
The forecast for rain on Saturday will give England an advantage if both teams choose to simplify their plans. Australia have handled the challenge well once before under McKenzie, when they held out Argentina to win 14-13 in terrible conditions in Perth. Mowen was the captain then, too, with Horwill out injured, and Nic White wearing No.9.
''It very much becomes about kicking and defence and discipline when it's very wet, so if we need to alter a few things, we will,'' Toomua said. ''It might tighten things up a bit but we'll have to find a way to win.''