It would appear the All Blacks have decided they want to smash Ireland and having come to that conclusion, have equipped themselves with a sledgehammer by selecting Scott Barrett at blindside for the first test of the series.
It's a selection that signals the All Blacks are serious about getting to grips with the nasty stuff in this series and have sacrificed an element of speed and ambition on the altar of set-piece domination.
It also suggests that the All Blacks coaching staff are as bored as everyone else of the tired narrative about the game plan being built on fragile foundations.
So they have stuck Barrett, a natural lock and still unproven blindside, in the No 6 jersey and told him to play his natural game. Whatever detail he may not get about his unaccustomed role, he'll make up for in sheer heft, energy and willingness to have the ball under his arm and charge at the Irish.
The All Blacks, it would seem then, want to play with greater directness and punch than they do width and creativity.
The presence of Barrett suggests that they have come round to accept the consensus thinking that they must earn the right to play wider and faster by first devoting themselves into subjecting Ireland to a physical onslaught in which they are beaten into submission.
Barrett's selection is therefore not necessarily one with which it is easy to agree as to some extent it rails against the natural inclination and wider abilities of the players, but it is one that is easy to understand.
The All Blacks want a team that can relentlessly pound Ireland around the fringes of the ruck. They want a team that can pressure Ireland in the lineout and one that can defend the middle of the field with enough bite and venom to stop the men in green making the same endless metres that they did nine months ago in Dublin.
The All Blacks want a sledgehammer not a nut-cracker so they have picked what they need.
Barrett, against the brief of crushing the life out of Ireland, is the best available choice and was likely always going to be starting this test at No 6 even if Akira Ioane's foot hadn't been troubling him.
It's obvious that the All Blacks want to make a statement about who they are in this test. They want to eradicate this sense of fragility that has been clinging to them since England so comfortably knocked them out of the 2019 World Cup.
And that night in Yokohama has taken on greater relevance this week. It was not only the test in which the red flag first went up to signal that the All Blacks game plan was too much about east-to-west and not enough north-to-south, but it was also the only previous test in which Barrett has started at blindside.
It was a surprise back in 2019 and one that failed to deliver its intended results. The All Blacks wanted to attack England's vulnerable lineout, but instead, their own fell apart and Barrett was hauled off at halftime.
But the idea wasn't flawed back then so much as the execution, and this is why Foster has been prepared to keep faith in the Barrett at six concept.
The rationale is not just built on having an additional big ball-carrier to throw at Ireland. It's also about making the back of the lineout a happier place for the All Blacks.
All last year they struggled to get the ball there because they didn't have a natural aerial athlete in their loose trio.
That not only cut off their preferred place from which to launch their attacks, it created an element of vulnerability as South Africa in particular worked out that the ball was only ever going to go to the front or middle and they targeted those areas to great effect.
Barrett's presence at the tail will also heap some pressure on Ireland to find their jumpers and the Super Rugby final showed how an aggressive, well-schooled lineout can be a destructive weapon.
What this first team of the year is telling us is that the All Blacks coaches want to fix all the areas that have looked creaky or broken since England beat them three years ago.
They need more ball-carrying impact, more options at the lineout, more defensive crunch around the fringes and a scrum that has the horsepower to shift Ireland.
On that, it's probable that had Nepo Laulala not been suffering from a neck complaint he would have started at tighthead – in a move that would have sacrificed yet greater mobility and athleticism for set-piece grunt.
The message is coming across loud and clear – the All Blacks want to recast themselves as the bullies of world rugby, prepared and ready to unleash their dark side.