The 1.4 version of the WHFB Big Red Book FAQ clarifies that characters must be placed in the front rank as soon as a spot is available. So Teclis can cower in the back but only until the first noble falls. Then he is toast.
I applaud GW in this; one less loophole is a good thing. The folks who have their list designed around this loophole will probably have to scramble a bit it being a week or so to the Semi's.