Veteran Franch flank Julien Bonnaire always puts in a performance meriting 8 out of 10 according to rugby manager Jo Maso, but how long can he go on for?
Bonnaire had another outstanding World Cup last year - where he was first choice all the way to the 8-7 defeat by the All Blacks in the final after starting as a replacement in their first match against Japan.
But as he heads towards his 72nd Test appearance here on Sunday against Ireland it is clear France must start planning for a post Bonnaire era.
Indeed if it hadn't been for that narrow loss to the Kiwis the 33-year-old flank would have called it a day at international level.
"We didn't win and I was keen to play a final Six Nations both out of pleasure and to bow out on a good note," said Bonnaire, who like scrumhalf Morgan Parra and lock Pascal Pape first came to notice at Bourgoin before the former two decamped to Clermont and the latter to Stade Francais.
"At the beginning of my international career I said 'If I reach 50 caps that will be great'. After that I said 60, 70... if I can make 75, it will be terrific.
"I have had a wonderful career, with really good moments and difficult ones as well."
The difficult moments came thick and fast in the middle of the last decade just after he had established himself in the national side and collected the first of two Six Nations Grand Slams (2004 and 2010) he has been party to.
"During the Test series of 2005, my eldest daughter was born prematurely and she had to stay in hospital, which made life fairly difficult," he said.
"Then in 2006 my mother died after being seriously ill for the three years prior to that... all these things make me want to have some breathing space, it is a good time to do it.
"It has become harder and harder to leave the house with the children (his two daughters) bawling their eyes out at the window.
"My wife has made a whole lot of sacrifices during my career and now it is my turn to pay her back for those."
Bonnaire, who in the days before turning professional worked as a park superintendent for the Bourgoin-Jaillieu council, acknowledges Maso's compliment but is his own harshest critic.
"I know that one has to be patient," he said.
"I have always posed questions of myself, I have not waited for others to ask them of me.
"I have rarely been satisfied with my performances, I think it is also that which has helped me last so long. Whatever your age, there are always things that you can improve."
That modest assessment does not chime with Parra, who along with Bonnaire had an annus mirabilis in 2010 not only winning the Grand Slam but becoming part of Clermont folklore as they helped the club to their first ever French league title.
"Modern rugby is more and more demanding physically," said Parra, whose World Cup final lasted just 12 minutes before he had to go off after taking a heavy knock from All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.
"He (Bonnaire) is 33 and he is an example to all. He is without fault and even if he wasn't exemplary, you could not reproach him for anything!," added the 23-year-old with a smile.
"People don't see him as anything other than a follower when in fact he is a leader.
"He is someone who is capable of taking decisions, of assuming his responsiblities."
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.