New All Black lock Patrick Tuipulotu reckons if he wasn't a professional rugby player, he would be studying architecture, so he knows all about the importance of foundations.
In Tuipulotu's case, his size, and in particular his weight, is a build-ing block which immediately gives him an advantage as he sets about designing his future in the international game.
Standing 1.98m and weighing 120kg, Tuipulotu is not as tall as the four other locks in the All Blacks mix - Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano and Dom Bird - but is one of the heaviest and probably the most powerful.
He plays bigger than his size. He also has good handling skills, a willingness to run the ball into contact and a bravery to keep doing so when that contact is as unforgiving as a brick wall.
The 21-year-old has the ability to replace the injured Romano in terms of his power, and it is that element which has seen him already bypass Dom Bird after only one season of Super Rugby at the Blues and take his place on the reserves bench for the last two tests.
All the All Black locks are comfortable with the ball, including Bird, the tallest of the lot at 2.06m and who has been relishing his extended run of starts for the Crusaders in Romano's absence with a broken ankle.
One of the standout breaks from the first test at Eden Park was Retallick's burst up the middle of the field, Marland Yarde's pursuit and tackle reminiscent of a wild cat taking down a wildebeest - a tumble of legs and an impact which tore divots out of the hard pitch.
Tuipulotu's skill as a ball runner is an extra weapon in his armoury, but it might not be the most important. His main strength is that he can provide that tight lock role which the All Blacks are presently light on.
Retallick is probably the closest thing to it in the current line-up - his work at the cleanout is among the most destructive in world rugby. For that reason, he had probably edged ahead of Romano as Steve Hansen's go-to guy in the big tests next to his No 1 Whitelock.
For pure grunt, though, which is so important in this modern age of longer, more demanding scrums, Tuipulotu has the potential to go close to Retallick.
Ask Hansen if he is concerned about the workload placed on Whitelock's wide shoulders following the serious ankle injury to All Blacks and Crusaders team-mate Romano, and he will reply he's worried about the load placed on all his players.
Privately, however, the welfare of Whitelock, one of the most skilful locks in world rugby, must be at or near the top of his list.
Having the ability to select a tight lock beside Whitelock, who is a lineout and restart specialist, could be a valuable ace up Hansen's sleeve as he seeks to spread the load among the individuals who ply their trade in this high-impact and demanding position.
All Black locks
• Patrick Tuipulotu: 1.98m, 120kg
• Luke Romano: 1.99m, 115kg
• Sam Whitelock: 2.02m, 116kg
• Brodie Retallick: 2.04m, 120kg
• Dom Bird: 2.06m, 116kg.