Aaron Cruden will make his long-awaited return to the All Blacks in Chicago, with the selectors likely to take a conservative approach to Dan Carter's rehabilitation from injury.
Cruden will probably start at first-five against the USA Eagles at what will be a sold-out Soldier Field next weekend, with Sonny Bill Williams likely to renew his partnership with him in the No 12 jersey. The All Blacks leave Auckland for their Northern tour tomorrow.
It will be Cruden's first test since he was left out of the Rugby Championship trip to Argentina and South Africa after failing to make the pre-flight meeting in Auckland before the squad flew to Buenos Aires.
Missing selection for the final Bledisloe Cup test in Brisbane last weekend, which the All Blacks won 29-28 thanks to a conversion after the siren by Colin Slade, would have compounded his discomfort.
But coach Steve Hansen was adamant the slate would be wiped clean and that is set to be the case this weekend. Beauden Barrett, who has played well in his three tests in the No 10 jersey in Cruden's absence, will have to settle for a different role.
It's unclear where this leaves Carter, but the selectors seem in no rush to get him back in the thick of things after this year's leg problems. He broke his right leg while playing for the Crusaders against the Waratahs in the Super Rugby final and then got another knock in his comeback game for Canterbury.
He could have a role on the bench with a view to playing the final 20 or so minutes, or he could be left out altogether, Hansen and co instead keen to work on his conditioning. This caution suggests he won't start against England a week later at Twickenham - with either Cruden or Barrett destined to play there.
The All Blacks did very well to claw their way back against the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium, but another slow start, after their early troubles a fortnight before against the Springboks, suggests some are due a rest.
Lock Sam Whitelock is one candidate for a break, as is prop Owen Franks. This is an ideal test for prop Charlie Faumuina to go in for Franks and continue his good form, but a complication is the impending birth of another child for the Blues player. Faumuina may have to miss Chicago and meet the squad in London.
If so, he'll join centre Conrad Smith and hooker Dane Coles in missing tests this year because of the arrival of new babies.
One back due a rest is Malakai Fekitoa, who impressed in Buenos Aires against the Pumas and a week later against the Boks, but struggled at Suncorp - although his late try got the All Blacks home. Williams may come in for him in what would be his first test in black since 2012.
Nov 2 v USA, Chicago
Nov 9 v England, London
Nov 16 v Scotland, Edinburgh
Nov 23 v Wales, Cardiff