This weekend's plan was to briefly get home; after all, Iain Henderson turns 29 today but, more importantly, son Freddy's first birthday was yesterday.
Ireland's most recent captain reckoned he'd be back in the squad bubble by this evening after he, wife Suzanne and daughter Lana marked the special occasions though, by the sound of it, he will be returning to camp with an appetite to taste this type of leadership again.
The Ulster skipper - who took over at the Kingspan from a very experienced captain at both provincial and international level, a certain Rory Best - led Ireland for the first time last Sunday in the absence of Johnny Sexton, James Ryan and Peter O'Mahony and even though the result wasn't the desired one, he positively relished his opportunity.
The now 60-times-capped lock - he has also played in the back-row since his debut in 2012 - has gradually added leadership qualities to what was often perceived to be a fairly laid-back approach to the game and has found that responsibility has added an extra layer to his already formidable on-field presence.
Henderson was one of the few Irish players to emerge with some credit in the bank after the narrow loss but still fairly grim display against France and, yes, he wants to be the main man at Test level again.
"One of my friends asked me if I enjoyed it and I said that I absolutely loved it," Henderson revealed, though he had to take some time out as skipper last Sunday after a clash of heads with Cian Healy.
"I would do it again in a heartbeat. I would love to have the opportunity to do it again."
The British and Irish Lions tourist could well be called upon again, especially with Sexton and the currently suspended O'Mahony nearing the end of their careers, while Ryan and Garry Ringrose are potentially still playing themselves towards taking on the main leadership role.
"There is no part of me would be upset if next week anyone stepped in to be captain and I was playing," stated Henderson, clearly not wanting to make it known that he might be publicly pushing his candidacy for Ireland's next medium to long-term leader.
With Sexton likely to be playing in Rome on Saturday, it's probably wise counsel not to be talking yourself up too much as the team's go-to leader.
Still, Henderson also explained how he went about the job and dealt with the higher pressure of captaincy at Test level.
"Not a huge amount changed, other than maybe talking a wee bit more," he said of how he structured his week leading up to the France game.
"I would try to be more of a calming influence rather than getting people riled up.
"Before the game I spoke to the players and told them that there was a very firm reason why they were here.
"They were here because they are very good at doing something within the game of rugby. And I think when you are stressed, or you are under pressure, go back to what you know you can do really well and don't try and stray too far from what you can do well.
"When you look at teams that are under-performing, their basics - the things that players can do really well - aren't there, or aren't being executed perfectly.
"So, when things aren't going 100%, (it's about) trying just to bring everyone back down to realise that the things that you would be worrying about aren't the things you might need to worry about.
"(Essentially) trying to reduce everyone's anxiety levels."
There will doubtless be more than an undercurrent of tension around the squad after two straight reverses punctuated by poor form and execution so there is plenty for Henderson and co to work on.
He recalls being on the bench when Ireland imploded as they stumbled their way towards losing in Rome back in 2013 and never wants to witness that feeling again.
"It was very bizarre," he recalled. "I remember Pete (O'Mahony) going on for Luke Fitzgerald on the wing, and me thinking that this game was not going to play out (the way we expected)."
Eight years on and there is huge pressure on Ireland to deliver a result against Italy to help restore player confidence and help shore up the current coaching regime.
"We have to win," said Henderson.
"We're going to go over there to win, be it by three points, by 10 points, it doesn't matter how many points, we have to win.
"We've two out of two losses. We have to go in with a mindset of winning this game.
"We can't play within ourselves. We have to be able to go out there and put on a performance that we'll be proud of."
Spoken like a leader who might, actually, be getting riled up. Italy beware, this now 29-year-old means business.