Now that he's committed to staying in New Zealand until 2023, the most fascinating aspect of the next World Cup cycle will be seeing how Beauden Barrett reinvents himself.
He's had eight seasons of test football and now that he's pushing 29, there's plenty of doubters who will say his best days are over – that he'll be doing well to hang on to any kind of role with the All Blacks by the last year of his contract.
But that's a classic misreading. Far from these being the last days of Barrett at his best before he heads into terminal decline, this next cycle is the one where he will most likely take his game to new heights.
It's likely to be the last act of Barrett's New Zealand career and the one that defines him – establishes his greatness.
At the moment few would disagree he is the world's most gifted rugby player and arguably the greatest attacking force of the professional era.
What marks him as different to other phenomenal players of the past is that there is no obvious expiry date slapped on him because he's in possession of multiple attacking attributes rather than being reliant on just one gift.
It's his range of skills that make him so deadly now and into the future. He has blinding pace and acceleration, yet is not entirely reliant on it to break through a defence.
He has vision and awareness, agility and phenomenal ball skills. He's brave and he's clever, all of which means that even should he lose a yard of pace over the next four years – and even that may not happen given his meticulous preparation – he'll find a way to still make himself influential.
The best of Barrett is still to come, but what we don't know is the specifics of the role he will play.
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The greatest players of the modern age have all had to reinvent themselves to remain at the top. Longevity in test football is impossible without adaptation.
Richie McCaw played with No 7 on his back until he was 35 but he was an entirely different player in his last season compared with his first.
Dan Carter was all about his running game in the earlier part of his career and then in his last year, he won the All Blacks a World Cup with his tactical control and kicking.
Kieran Read was a roaming, attacking No 8 between 2009 and 2015 and then a defensive force and close quarter distributor between 2016 and 2019.
The key for all three lasting as long as they did is that they changed the specifics of their role to suit their changing skill-sets and team needs.
And Barrett is going to have to do the same, but the possibilities with him are almost endless. We have already seen him play three different roles.
In his first World Cup cycle Barrett was essentially the best impact player the world had seen. No one turned games quite like Barrett between 2012 and 2015 and it seemed like the second half of every big test in that period was influenced by him in some way.
In this World Cup cycle just gone, he morphed into the world's best first-five. He wasn't a classic No 10 by any means, but what he brought was the most potent array of attacking skills and with those he totally redefined the speed and width at which the All Blacks could play.
The All Blacks moulded their game around him – opting to keep the ball in hand more than they ever had.
It was a philosophy they kept even when they decided on the eve of the World Cup to shift Barrett to fullback and operate a dual play-making system with Richie Mo'unga at first-five.
So it could be that Barrett continues throughout this next World Cup cycle as a fullback playing heavily as a first receiver.
He hinted at the World Cup that it wasn't necessarily a role he would have chosen for himself, but whatever reluctance he had to take it on, never manifested in the way he played.
Barrett ended the World Cup campaign as the best fullback in the world. It was a role he executed perfectly even if it remains debatable whether it was the best use of his talents.
At fullback he had more space to attack, more time to make his decisions and more chance to challenge defences where they were vulnerable.
But he also said he struggled at times to back away from being the key decision maker and shot caller. He had to retrain himself to trust Mo'unga to direct the play and chose the attacking options off set-plays.
It's a partnership that could blossom and that may be the role Barrett plays in the next four years – the swash-buckling counter attacker who wears No 15 but plays much of his football as a No 10.
But the new All Blacks coach may have a different view about the dual play-maker plan and Barrett could follow a similar path to Carter and commit exclusively to being a No 10 and build his game around his tactical control and orthodox first-five skills.
Or any other number of possibilities could eventuate but whatever direction his role takes, these next four years are going to be the greatest last act of an already great career.