England lock Steve Borthwick has a degree in economics and politics from Bath University - so his reputation as a workaholic rugby scholar should be of little surprise.
Borthwick's microscopic attention to detail when he plays for club or country is assuming folklore status.
When the 26-year-old Cumbrian runs out against Italy in Rome tomorrow, he could probably tell you everything there is to know about his anticipated opposite numbers Santiago Dellape and Marco Bortolami.
Borthwick though, who will win a 24th cap at Stadio Flaminio, attributes it as a fairly straightforward requirement - simply doing his job.
"Anything I do is about the team doing well," said the Bath captain.
"My personal approach is that if you are given a job to do, then you do it to the very best of your ability.
"All I do is make sure I operate to the very best of my ability to help the team get their result. If it is the line-out, then I have to make sure I do the preparation necessary for a good performance. That, I feel, is just doing your job properly."
Borthwick has started all four of England's Tests this season, yet international sport's sometimes fickle nature is not lost on him.
Less than two months before he featured against Australia at Twickenham, Borthwick failed to make England boss Andy Robin-son's first 30-man squad of the campaign.
Gloucester prospect Alex Brown was tipped to make a Test debut when the Wallabies came calling, but Brown then suffered a neck injury and Borthwick stepped in for his first England start since November, 2004 and immediately began performing as though he had never been away.
"You have blows in your career, and when I wasn't picked in the squad of 30 before the autumn internationals, that sort of thing hurts," he added.
"You put a lot of work in, and playing for England is something every English player is desperate to do.
"When you take those blows, you realise every chance you get is a precious one, and you are very conscious you need to perform at your very best to make sure you stay in the team."
Borthwick's only previous experience of facing Italy in the Six Nations came last term when he featured as a substitute during England's 39-7 Twickenham win.
The form guide suggests a similar result this weekend, although Borthwick supports England's public theory this week that Italy will not roll over easily on a ground where they have claimed all of their three previous Six Nations scalps - Scotland (twice) and Wales.
"I've never started a senior game against Italy, so it is a new challenge for me. They seem to be playing really well, very enthusiastic and really focused on doing well," he added.
"No one is under any illusions as to what this game is going to be like, so we have been preparing accordingly.
"In the autumn internationals, we set a benchmark, and I think we improved from that against Wales."