It was a surprise to hear All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster say that he and Steve Hansen are still having robust debate about team selection.
We are a day away from the All Blacks naming their team to play Italy – a game that will surely see the selectors give their preferred XV an opportunity to fine-tune before the quarter-final – and supposedly they still don't know, or agree on exactly who they should pick.
In previous regimes, such a state of affairs would have generated concern, mild panic even as it would likely have been indicative of there being confusion about strategy and how to marry it with the right personnel.
But healthy friction is the essence of the Hansen-Foster coaching partnership and has been present since they first hooked up in 2012.
• Gregor Paul: Inside the crisis that could turn World Cup from showpiece into farce
• Gregor Paul: More proof the All Blacks make their opponents better
• Gregor Paul: Why All Blacks are taking a risk with lineup to play Springboks
• Gregor Paul: All Blacks' new brand of rugby will leave opponents worried
They are like-minded yet not in absolute unison about how they see the game. They have similar personality traits yet the sum of their total parts creates entirely different people.
Their rugby vision is largely similar but they don't always agree on who the right players will be to fulfil it and as we approach the most important two weeks of the last four years, it's apparent there may still be strong arguments being made for and against specific players.
Hansen is a natural head coach – happiest with the buck stopping at him. No one is ever confused about who is in charge and yet as forceful and dominant as he is, there is plenty of room for Foster to have his say and be heard.
They have a relationship where there is freedom to challenge each other and seemingly they often do when it comes to selection.
All Blacks trio headline World Cup XV from round three
'Fingers crossed': ABs on high alert as Super Typhoon nears
There is enough evidence to believe that they don't share the same appetite for risk. Or, they don't always agree on the risks attached to picking certain players and no doubt there have been occasions when the third selector, Grant Fox, has had to almost make a casting vote.
Hansen cast himself as the maverick, the impetuous risk-taker in the Amazon documentary that went behind the scenes with the All Blacks in 2017.
There was footage on the training ground of Hansen randomly coming up with the idea of swapping Rieko Ioane from the right wing to the left a few days before the first test against the British and Irish Lions.
Foster suggested it was a "dumb idea" but did what he was asked, with Hansen later telling the cameras: "Fozzie's the yin to my yang I suppose. He's very thoughtful whereas at times I can be a little bit impulsive."
It left the impression of Hansen being the visionary – the more bold and adventurous selector willing to experiment and Foster being the more conservative voice of reason, measured and deliberate and likely to err on the side of experience over youth.
But that impression may have been misleading. Foster may be more data-driven and evidence-based in his process compared with the gut-instincts of Hansen, but the former shouldn't be pegged as a conservative.
This week and next, and for however long the All Blacks stay in this World Cup, may be among the more robust selection discussions of their eight years working together.
Robust because there are a few obvious areas where there is room for disagreement.
None more so than who should play on the wing. Sevu Reece is the choice of the selection maverick. He's young, uninhibited and in the form of his life, scoring tries on the back of nothing and pulling defences out of shape.
It seems, on that basis, like it should be an easy decision on which to reach agreement, but there may be some concern about the likely nature of the rugby later in the tournament and doubts about whether the 22-year-old is the right choice in a game dominated by box kicking.
Ben Smith, with all his experience, will appeal for his defensive prowess and experience and it is perhaps on this issue that much of the debate flagged by Foster could be focused on.
Based on the documentary of two years ago the assumption could be made that Hansen is pro-Reece, Foster pro-Smith.
But there's just a hint that Foster may be the one who has pushed hardest for the inclusion of Reece and indeed George Bridge on the other wing. And he's done so not on a whim, or prematurely, but because after prolonged analysis and review, he's seen that those two are playing with such freedom and fearlessness that their lack of experience is more of a perceived rather than a real concern.
Foster may be the one, perhaps because his head is not so squarely on the chopping block, who is more willing to back youth at this World Cup.
The gut instincts of Hansen may be pulling him towards experience and the defensive skill-set of Smith. The coach's own experience telling him this may not be the time to be so bold.
Whatever the truth, the important thing is that the debate is happening, that minds are open and the culture remains strong enough to handle differing points of view.
Far from signalling a sense of confusion or tension, robust selection debate is a sign the All Blacks World Cup campaign is in good health.