Andy Farrell has thanked England's doctors for their patch-up work after he suffered an horrific head injury during England's 62-5 thrashing of Wales at the weekend.
Farrell needed more than a dozen stiches above his left eye after the clash of heads with Wales skipper Gareth Thomas inside five minutes of the Twickenham clash getting underway.
But magnificent work by England's medical team meant Farrell could return mid-way through the first half to play a pivitol role in the victory.
"The doctors did a fantastic job," said a grateful Farrell, whose performance has probably helped confirm his place in head coach Brian Ashton's 30-man England World Cup squad, which will be announced on August 14th.
"The only thought going through my mind was that I would go back on and it would start bleeding again, but that didn't happen and I was very appreciative of what the doctors did."
Farrell, England's defensive captain, was full of praise for his team's pack, who totally out-performed their Welsh counterparts.
He added: "When you are playing behind a pack like that and they got the dominance they did, it makes it easy for the backs.
"I just tried to concentrate on what we had been doing all week, trying to help the team move forward and get off to a good start."
Head coach Ashton was equally delighted with England's most comprehensive victory in nearly three years.
He said: "If someone had said to me on Saturday morning we would beat Wales 62-5, playing like we did, I would definitely have been sceptical. We made a lot of line breaks, which you haven't seen from England for some time."
England's next opponents at Twickenham are World Cup hosts France next Saturday, which will provide Ashton with a further opportunity to decide his World Cup squad.
In preparation, England's players returned to their University of Bath training base last night. There will be fitness checks on three players - captain Phil Vickery (ankle), full-back Mark Cueto (groin) and scrum-half Peter Richards (back spasm) - while another fitness worry is centre Mike Tindall, following his battle to recover from a broken leg.