Don't talk about the World Cup. But if you do, don't be scared to say you want to win it. That's the psychological stand the All Blacks are being advised to take.
Unlike the last campaign, in 2007, when no one would talk about winning the Cup, Graham Henry's All Blacks are being told not to mention it - but if the subject comes up, they shouldn't be shy about saying they want to win it.
In modern sport few stones are left unturned by people and teams who prepare as thoroughly as the All Blacks. However, the very act of adopting a psychological stance on the issue shows how much of a burden the quest for the Cup has been to successive teams. The continued failure has been one of the bigger stories in sport.
Senior players addressed the squad this week and said no one should feel reticent about saying they want to win - in contrast to the last World Cup, where the players involved said they were too scared to talk about winning.
Conrad Smith, who was a member of the 2007 squad, said: "The leaders in the team have even mentioned it [the World Cup] this week 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 13 months and one day until the national team kicks off the tournament.
In 2005 All Black coach Graham Henry was asked to hatch a two-year plan designed to see New Zealand reach the 2007 event in peak form with genuine depth across the squad.
That led to the dreaded rotation policy and a heavy focus falling on the World Cup from as early as 18 months out.
This time around, they are still being encouraged not to think or talk about the World Cup, preferring the game-by-game focus. But if the subject is raised, the players have been told there is no shame in revealing their passion to win.
"It hasn't been a subject that has really been brought up," says vice-captain Mils Muliaina. "The World Cup is coming and it is going to be massive being here in New Zealand. But we just haven't focused on it as much as we did last time."By Gregor Paul Email Gregor