Timing is crucial for any rugby league player and Jamie Peacock got it just about right with his decision to step down from the international arena.
The Leeds and former Bradford forward has been a tremendous servant to England and, before that, Great Britain for more than a decade but there have been clear signs recently that time has begun to catch up with the 34-year-old.
He was a pale shadow of his former self in England's recent win over the Exiles but at least led his team to a victory that enabled him to bow out as a winner.
Like so many of his predecessors, Peacock has been captain of a national team that consistently fell short when faced with the ultimate test of facing Australia but it was never for the want of trying.
Like Andy Farrell and Paul Sculthorpe, his most recent predecessors, Peacock was not the most eloquent of orators but his actions on the field spoke volumes for his passion and commitment.
He has certainly come a long way from the gangly second rower with poor eyesight who during his early days at Bradford was farmed out to Featherstone to gain experience.
Peacock gradually blossomed into a statesmanlike figure with few peers in the modern game and the whole of rugby league rejoiced earlier this year when he went to meet The Queen at Buckingham Palace to collect a thoroughly-deserved MBE.
There is a parallel in Australia, where Brisbane Broncos' popular forward Petero Civoniceva is preparing to play his 33rd and final Origin match at the age of 36 in what promises to be an emotion-charged decider at the Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday.
In making his decision to retire retrospectively, Peacock denied himself the chance of a fanfare farewell but that is unlikely to be a coincidence for one of the game's modest heroes.
Today's announcement marks the end of an era and it will be interesting to see if Peacock's old sparring partner Adrian Morley opts to follow suit as he prepares to make a decision on his future with Warrington.
Kevin Sinfield, who is Peacock's skipper at Leeds but played under him in the national team, has no doubt over the big man's contribution to his country.
"JP has been an incredible leader for our team over the years," Sinfield said.
"He has been a constant feature of the team and someone who the rest of the squad is able to look to for guidance and strength.
"It is not just what he has done on the field that has meant so much. Off the field he has shaped how the England team is now structured and ensured that the players are given the best possible chance of succeeding.
"For me personally he has been a tremendous help both for club and country. From a selfish point of view, I am pleased that we will see more of him at Leeds and he can have a full off season and be ready to go with the Rhinos again.
"However, he will be leave big shoes to fill for whoever is the next captain of England."