He's shortish, usually; bulky, always; he's ugly, sometimes and he's been known to smell. And he's just about the most precious specimen in modern rugby football.
The front row forward is finally having his day.
After a century and more as a sub-species inhabiting the deep, dark dungeons of the scrum, a rugby man whose existence was noticed only when the scrum began and who was not to be acknowledged when it was over, F R Forward, as we shall call him, is now at the top of every coach's shopping list.
And he's become rather scarce. A bit like truffles.
Such are the safety regulations in contemporary rugby that every club has to have an abundance of FRFs.
Five per game is now the minimum requirement and those clubs who cannot find that number are very nervous clubs indeed.
For the penalties that apply to an FRF deficiency are swingeing. If you cannot properly populate your front row and have to call off a game as a consequence, you are docked league points.
If you start a game and lose a specialist who cannot be replaced, if uncontested scrums are ordered you will lose the points even though you might win the game.
Props and hookers have become sacred citizens. The traffic in them has become frantic, there just aren't enough to go round so this has become an area for wheeling and dealing.
Not in an unsavoury sense, I must add. Clubs who have a spare prop or two have been known to pass them on to clubs who are short and this has become, in several instances, a thoroughly commendable aspect of the professional game.
Let me give you an instance. Dudley Kingswinford, in National League Three, found themselves running dangerously low on FRF and were forced to put out feelers. Could anyone help?
As it turned out, Moseley could and so could Pertemps Bees. And they did. Moseley put out prop Alan Low on loan and Bees chipped in with hooker Ben Gerry. Thus two players and three rugby clubs had cause for satisfaction.
This was a perfect arrangement. For several months. And then the transfer deadline approached and it occurred to both Moseley and Bees that if their players were not returned to them before it expired, they could not have them back at all. Those are the rules and as Dudley have just found out, they are cast in stone.
Low and Gerry returned to the clubs to which they were contracted and however unfortunate that might turn out to be, Dudley were totally understanding. If Moseley or Bees were to run short of FRF, they would be up the proverbial gum tree because after last Monday, they could not, by law, reclaim the players.
Dudley, grateful to their benefactors, were, and remain, bemused. The regulations were devised to prevent clubs with a sniff of promotion from rushing in squad reinforcements at the last minute and this could hardly be said to have been Dudley's motive.
But they were suddenly left in something of a crisis. When their relegation battle with Bedford Athletic arrived last Saturday, they were a forward short and after trawling madly around his parish, their director of rugby, Gordon Bannatyne, made an appeal to the RFU for some sort of dispensation.
Rules are meant to cover circumstances and DK's were such as to threaten their ability to put out a properly constituted squad. They were forced to put 42-year-old, long-retired Micky Davies on the bench and, mercifully, he wasn't needed.
Bannatyne's approach to the RFU drew no sympathy. But our masters were able to offer this brilliant bit of advice: call up your second team front row.
But what if the second team were short of experienced props? What Dudley's second team were operating on were a couple of youngsters who were far too immature to be risked in National League football.
What about concerns for player safety now? And what about on-loan players who are recalled by their clubs? If there are no emergencies back at base, they may well spend the last two-and-a-half months of the season kicking their heels, as it were.
Low and Gerry could be far more usefully employed at Dudley, where they enjoyed their rugby and were greatly appreciated.
"All we're suggesting," said Bannatyne, "is a bit of common sense."
* My thanks to those who responded to the offer I made last year to donate my collection of international programmes to a worthy cause.
It has taken a bit of time to sort out the programmes and to sift through the names of those who would have liked them but I have now handed them over to Jan Webster who feels that there might be a bit of room for them at Moseley's new headquarters at Billesley Common.