Back in Norfolk, where a painting of Ben Youngs covers the entire clubhouse wall at Holt Rugby Club, they will stand to salute their No 9 on Friday night.
That is where Youngs made his first steps into the game that he will bow out of as his country’s most-capped player.
His brother Tom, who used to throw sugar beet to him on their granddad’s farm, will join him in Paris as the most resilient England career comes to an end.
It will be Youngs’s first start of this World Cup – a sentimental selection by Steve Borthwick for the bronze medal match – and a final farewell in his 127th Test.
‘Steve told me that I was playing, then after he told me I was playing, I told him, “There’s something you need to know”, because I hadn’t spoken to him about it at all and I wanted him to know,’ said Youngs. ‘I said, “Look, this will be my last game and I’m grateful for the chance to do that.”
Ben Youngs is set to call time on an illustrious England career after 13 years as a Red Rose
The No 9 has been picked by Steve Borthwick for his first World Cup start against Argentina
‘I’m proud and privileged that I’m able to call it a day on Friday and get that opportunity. I’ve done it for so long and there’s great talent within the nine jersey. It’s just right. It just feels right. I feel so content.
‘The fact I had this in my head for a long time and then I didn’t hesitate about it makes me realise that it’s absolutely the right decision. Even now, telling all of you, there’s not a part of me that thinks “what if” – I’m absolutely making the right call.’
Youngs, 34, will make way for the likes of Alex Mitchell, Jack van Poortvliet and Raffi Quirke. He held off the challengers to his No 9 for a decade – winning Grand Slams, clean sweeps and featuring in four World Cups.
‘I will miss the adrenalin of running out in front of a full stadium,’ he said. ‘I’ll actually miss the pressure of big games, when everything is on the line. Playing alongside my brother was an incredibly proud moment for me. To get to 100 caps and be a part of that group is very special. The main thing is to do it consistently with such a hard position to play in and with such great competition.
Youngs made his debut for England in 2010 (pictured) and garnered 126 Test appearances
‘I have had four coaches with England and I have been picked by all four. And that is a nice touch. Every coach has a preference. Every coach wants different things but I have had four with England and I have been picked by all of them. I guess I am proud of that because it shows I clearly bring something to the party.’
As for the future, Youngs is contracted with Leicester until the end of the season. He has been at the club since his schoolboy days and has always been one of the most eloquent members of the squad. No doubt the broadcasters will be queuing up to have him pitch-side the next time England play.
So how does he want to be remembered? ‘That is for others to decide. I have done my part… as long as I don’t blow it on Friday. Which could happen, lads, it could happen! Chris Ashtone thought he had nailed it when he scored the most tries and he got red carded the next week, so you just don’t know do you? There is a lesson in that!
‘I have seen it get real high with England and I have been through a few rebuilds. I think I am leaving it in a good spot and I would like to think I was someone who was a big part of a successful team and a team that I leave heading in the right direction.’