A bit like the famous Fawlty Towers episode where no one could mention the war, the All Blacks have adopted a code of silence about the World Cup.
There are just 13 months and one day until the opening game - a blink of an eye in test rugby terms - and no All Black mentions it, no one talks about it and no one dares to suggest this Tri Nations is merely preparation for the big event.
For those players who were involved in the build-up to the last World Cup, it's been a refreshing change of philosophy.
They are living in the now, splitting the season into mini-blocks - the June tests, the series against the Boks, the back-to-back games against the Wallabies - and gradually trying to introduce new elements, extra touches to their game.
It's a far cry from the last World Cup cycle where every game in 2006 was viewed not for what it was, but for how it affected preparations.
Back then, there was a near obsession with the World Cup. From as early as the 2005 Tri Nations a World Cup plan was formed.
The present became, almost, an irrelevancy. The team was never selected with the single goal of winning the test. There was always a longer-term picture to consider.
That was the source of rotation - the desire to build depth two years out. For those involved, looking back, it was all-consuming. It became emotionally draining to build towards something from such a long way out.
There was an element of sadness, regret even, that achievements along the way were never fully acknowledged or appreciated.
In 2005 the All Blacks won 11 of 12 tests, retained the Bledisloe, Tri Nations and took out a Grand Slam. In 2006 they did the same, bar the Grand Slam and won 12 out of 13 tests.
The celebrations were always muted back then. There was no sense of taking the time to sit back and enjoy as the players, coaches and administrators held the view that everything would be tarnished should they not win the World Cup.
That mindset got to a number of players. It drained the likes of Carl Hayman and Aaron Mauger and it even got to Dan Carter. He reached 2008 in a poor state of mind, certain he needed to escape the clawing, obsessive nature of New Zealand.
Lessons have been learned, and, this time round, it's a case of being aware what is on the horizon but not rushing to get there. It is not being ignored; no one is pretending it's not there. It's just not in the forefront of anyone's mind.
"We have put the season into blocks," says Joe Rokocoko. "I guess the World Cup is always going to be floating around and we made sure in our first meeting that we all understood it was going to be there.
"We just said it is going to be there but put it to one side. We are going in blocks and trying to achieve each goal.
"We haven't thought too much about it. We are isolating games and having mini-goals and are slowly ticking the boxes."
This different approach has been evident in some of the recent contract extensions as well. Conrad Smith, Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Ben Franks, Anthony Boric and Tom Donnelly all signed to stay in New Zealand until the end of 2012 last week.
All of them want to play at the World Cup next year but that was not the driving factor behind any of them extending.
All of them say they are looking beyond next year, that the World Cup is not some kind of career roadblock - something they see as defining their entire All Black experience.
"It's obviously big on the horizon, but it is not the be all and end all for me," says Smith. "Some of us might not be involved. We might be injured or not selected so you can't have that as the sole driver.
"That's why for me it was two more years. I want to be around. I think it will be an awesome occasion for the whole country. But if there was no World Cup I would have made the same decision.
"The leaders in the team have even mentioned it this week [the World Cup] and how we were even scared of talking about it [in 2006]. They talked about it as an event but not about winning.
"They really wanted us this time to be realistic to talk about our passion to win the thing. It is something you want to be involved but you don't want it to dictate your whole career."
The focus will shift in November. The end of year tour will have a greater emphasis on building towards the World Cup.That will be the last chance for the selectors to cast their net widerand try some players on the periphery.
After those five games at the end of the year, the All Blacks will only have a shortened Tri Nations (two rounds) before the World Cup. Maybe then, like Basil Fawlty, they will be able to mention it a few times and get away with it.By Gregor Paul Email Gregor