New Zealand really does have a conveyor belt that spits out players at a phenomenal rate. It should have been a disaster that, in the space of a few weeks back in February, the All Blacks lost Richard Kahui, Rene Ranger and Cory Jane to overseas defections and injuries respectively.
By May, Hosea Gear decided to head to France, Tamati Ellison had committed to Japan and Zac Guildford didn't have any form to speak of and was just happy to have his demons under control.
All of which meant the All Blacks assembled for their three-test series against France with just one specialist wing - Julian Savea. The other options were Ben Smith and Charles Piutau, both of whom had extensive experience at fullback.
They looked light on options. Savea would be able to crash and bash, score tries and wreak a bit of havoc but it wasn't obvious they would get much out of their back three as a package.
Then there were the worries about injury. What if Savea busted a fetlock? Smith and Piutau didn't give the impression, back in early June, that they would make the right sort of impact. They were fullbacks being coerced on to the wing and it felt like it would take time before either or both would find their feet.
How wrong was that? It's the ability to produce from seemingly nothing that separates the All Blacks from other teams. England, for example, are trying to build similar depth to the All Blacks. They have been hit hard by injury this November and have been forced to dig deep into their talent pool. They can't do it as effortlessly as the All Blacks.
Their replacement men have been more of a concern than a strength. As was written in The Times earlier in the week: "Lancaster's [head coach Stuart] options are limited. There is no magic hiding backstage. The head coach will persevere with what he has in place because he has to, not out of any conviction."
That's how it is for other teams - when they have injuries they have to struggle along as best they can until the first choice recovers or the replacement eventually finds his feet. There is rarely seamless transition as there is with the All Blacks.
It's scarcely believable that Smith, having been thrust into the No 14 jersey predominantly due to Jane's injury, has been short-listed as New Zealand's player of the year. He would be most people's pick as player of the Rugby Championship and it would be a surprise if he's not at least short-listed for IRB Player of the Year.
As for Piutau, in the space of three games he's made himself indispensable. Coach Steve Hansen said Piutau made the selection decision for the England game easy; he had to play. So from being on the periphery in June and viewed as a utility option within the back three, Piutau has pushed ahead of Savea and Jane. It's not necessarily permanent but it does illustrate the choice the All Blacks now have at wing.
If all are fit, they will have to choose between Smith, Jane, Savea and Piutau next year. In Jane, they have the player many believed was the world's best wing last year until injury struck. Smith has arguably been the world's best wing this year and Savea has been a consistently good All Black since scoring a hat-trick on debut last year. Piutau is electric and exciting and in truth, it probably won't matter who the All Blacks pick - any combination of those four is going to make them a dangerous side.
In time, perhaps Frank Halai could make their job harder again. At 1.94m and 110kg, Halai is the biggest of all the wing options and offers a physicality that is perhaps even greater than Savea's. At the moment, though, his natural reluctance to impose himself is holding him back.
The selectors feel that is a simple matter of him building his confidence through more game time with the Blues. They would also like to see him chase the game harder - to hunt for opportunity more readily rather than wait for the game to come to him.
As Hansen said before Halai made his debut against Japan: "He's a shy guy and he's played shy probably in the past. He's managing now to play the way he would like to and the way we would like him to."
A handful of players will have been sent home overnight as the All Blacks don't want - and can't afford - to have 37 players assembled for one more week. Halai is a strong candidate to be one of those not required. That's not a reflection so much of what he's doing wrong, more that the other four are doing so much right.