In a parallel universe, Ireland welcomed Rassie Erasmus' Springboks to Dublin last weekend and are preparing for a rematch with Japan this Saturday.
Just over a year on from Shizuoka and with a full Six Nations and a tour to Australia under their belts, it would have been a good test of where the team is at.
Covid-19 means there are no glamour fixtures this November. South Africa and Japan have been stood down for 2020, a reminder that Ireland should be grateful for what seems like an endless succession of local derbies in empty stadiums.
Above all else, this Saturday's return to Twickenham stands out on the schedule and a man with the closest of connections to this England team is tasked with rebuilding Ireland.
Andy Farrell coached almost all of Eddie Jones' charges and his son is the captain. Redressing the balance must be a personal and professional priority.
While he won't get carried away with Friday's win over a poor Wales side, Farrell could be pleased with elements of the performance as he considers what changes he'll make.
Much will depend on what the scans on Johnny Sexton's hamstring showed up. If, as expected, he's ruled out then that will affect all of Farrell's decisions.
The captain carries so much of the leadership burden that it will take several strong voices to replace him.
James Ryan took over the duties on Friday and had the backing of Peter O'Mahony. Others may bring more dynamism, but the Munster captain is a senior figure who commands respect. If Ryan is making his first outing as captain away to England, he'll need that kind of support.
CJ Stander will come back into the back-row and whatever the numbers on their backs, a combination of O'Mahony, Stander and Caelan Doris looks right for an England side packed with lineout forwards and ball-carriers.
Likewise, Farrell might have been tempted to continue with Jamison Gibson-Park at scrum-half. However, if Billy Burns or Ross Byrne is the starting No 10, then surely the experience of Conor Murray will be key.
Like Stander, Bundee Aki looks primed to come back into the team and although Chris Farrell did well on Friday the more established partnership might just win out.
In the back-three, much will depend on Jacob Stockdale's calf. If fit, he'll start at full-back and Keith Earls' experience may get him in ahead of Andrew Conway and Hugo Keenan.
Of course, it is the big men up front who will determine the success or otherwise of Ireland's mission to earn back some respect against England.
Farrell must choose between the lineout security offered by Rob Herring and the physical promise of Ronan Kelleher at hooker, while Quinn Roux's scrummaging power and all-round contribution will surely keep him in the team even if Iain Henderson returns.
"Not all the boys last week were dropped you know?" Farrell said of selection.
"There was an element of giving people a chance, seeing whether they could handle a start or be able to take a chance and grab hold of it. I think plenty of them did.
"We need to build on what we started last week, a proper realisation of what it takes to be a fully prepared international side."