Belligerence, it seems, pays off when the prize means being restored to the England side.
Pat Sanderson, the Worcester Warriors captain, and one of the game's nice guys, has been rewarded for the mean-spirited displays he has put in for his club by being chosen to play for his country.
Sanderson will win his first cap since 2001 when he runs out against Australia on Saturday after being selected as blindside flanker in the absence of the injured Joe Worsley (knee).
Worcester have been the surprise package of the Guinness Premiership this season, having just survived their first year in the top flight of English rugby.
Under Sanderson's leadership they have climbed to fifth in the Premiership table and their success has been built on the strength of the Warriors pack.
Sanderson's previous caps have all come as part of a second string England side - the 1998 Tour from Hell and the Churchill Cup - but his performances as captain of a Worcester side that offers no quarter to their opponents has earned him a start against the Wallabies.
Head coach Andy Robinson announced his team yesterday and said: "I see Lewis Moody as an open-side and he proved that to me on the Lions tour and I think Pat Sanderson can play anywhere in that back row.
"We have been talking about improving the mobility of the pack and Pat, Lewis and Martin Corry are getting a very good understanding and they do complement each other."
Robinson has also benefited from securing his players for two weeks in the build-up to the Investec autumn series, which also presents challenges against New Zealand and Samoa over the coming three weeks.
"We have had a year together and the core of the side is in form," said Robinson.
"We have had two weeks together. I'd like to thank the clubs for releasing their players. It's a massive gesture but it is what is needed to prepare for an international series.
"Wales had five or six days to prepare for their biggest game in two years and were beaten 41-3 by New Zealand."
The other significant omission in the starting line-up is Mark Van Gisbergen.
The New Zealand-born full-back was included in Robinson's training squad in September immediately after qualifying to play for England on residency grounds.
But his form has since dipped alarmingly and errorstrewn displays for Wasps against Sale, Edinburgh and Toulouse have proven costly.
Van Gisbergen's Wasps colleague Josh Lewsey has been preferred at full-back while Northampton winger Ben Cohen wins a recall to the side to face the Wallabies.
Cohen has not started a Test since Robinson took over from Sir Clive Woodward and was left out of the September training squad.
But Cohen responded to his omission with six tries in four games for Northampton and will win his first cap since appearing off the bench against France in February.
With Van Gisbergen on the bench, fly-half Charlie Hodgson retains the goal-kicking responsibilities but England will have no recognised onfield back-up.
England's World Cupwinning centre Mike Tindall returns to the side after missing the Six Nations through injury and will be partnered in midfield by Newcastle's Jamie Noon.
Other changes in the forwards include experienced Bath pair Danny Grewcock and Steve Borthwick in the second row, with Simon Shaw (back) and Alex Brown (neck) out injured,
Van Gisbergen, Lee Mears, the Bath hooker, and Leicester lock Louis Deacon complete an uncapped trio on a bench that also includes centre Olly Barkley, scrum-half Harry Ellis, loose-forward Chris Jones and prop Matt Stevens.
England have lost four of their eight Tests under Robinson and the only Red Rose victory over a leading nation in the last year came against South Africa last November.
Cohen's decision to remove himself from the Lions standby list and take a full summer off has paid dividends.
The 27-year-old winger was omitted from England's September training camp - and was so far out of the picture after a miserable season he did not even warrant a call of explanation.
But refreshed and reinvigorated after a summer off, Cohen responded to being overlooked by stating an irrefutable case for England selection.
"Ben was a world-class player but like all players he has had dips in form," said Robinson.
"But through the work he's done he has got himself playing to the levels when he was a real success and he has forced himself in. He's scoring lots of tries, his work rate off the ball is good.
"He is playing with a smile on his face and getting that enthusiasm to play."
Cohen admitted he was physically and mentally exhausted last year. He decided to take 12 weeks away from the game, to the extent that the 2001 British and Irish Lion did not even watch this year's Lions series on TV.
"I needed a total break," he said. "I should have taken it after the World Cup but carried on last season and the result was that I was getting paid for a job I wasn't enjoying and hardly scored a try.
"I'm loving it again now, I'm probably fitter than I've ever been and obviously being involved with England again is a real lift."
Tindall was always likely to come straight back into the side, while Noon has been rewarded for an impressive debut season with England last year.
"Mike Tindall was missed by England in the last Six Nations and he is one of those players that is influential in the way we play and is a leader in the team," Robinson said.
"I have been involved with Mike for seven years and he is a player I know can deliver for England. Jamie Noon has been playing very well."
Australia were beaten 26-16 by France in Marseille on Saturday and head to Twickenham on the back of six straight defeats. One more would equal the record losing streak of the 1969 Wallabies.
England then tackle New Zealand on November 19 and close their autumn programme against Samoa on November 26.