The road to Japan is going down bizarre side streets but at least the All Blacks are making life interesting.
As to whether it is becoming too interesting for their own good, we are about to find out.
As the picture is emerging, the All Black coaches and selectors will come to be regarded as geniuses or people who lost the plot by the end of the 2019 tournament. It's hard to pick which way it will go.
But they have taken conventional test rugby wisdom, which treasures building combinations and individual confidence within a squad, and turned it into old hat.
And if the drum beats are correct, this roundabout will hit top speed in Perth in nine days' time where captain Kieran Read will be shunted to the blindside so rugby's most extraordinary bundle of energy, Ardie Savea, can be fitted in at No 8.
If so, then unusual last-gasp experimentation is carrying the All Blacks towards their attempted three-peat, even if it is portrayed by some as the strategic unveiling of a master plan.
I retain a lot of faith in the All Black honchos, but this requires suspecting the presence of, rather than actually seeing, effective method in the madness.
There is always a danger lurking for a coach who has experienced Steve Hansen's level of success. His own role as the chess grandmaster becomes omnipresent, trampling over the idea that great teams are forged on the field.
For as much as Hansen, Ian Foster, Grant Fox, Wayne Smith and the merry gang who have orchestrated All Black dominance in recent years must be lauded, I doubt whether any have had the influence which Richie McCaw exerted on the national game simply by how he played.
Constant news demands in the digital age have helped elevate coaches into staggering positions of prominence.
They've learned to play to a crowd as self-professed masters of the marionettes while also victims of unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances when things go wrong.
What I really see in this All Blacks side, despite all the leadership group guff, is a team which has had the player-led element diluted as opponents chipped away at the aura of invincibility. And when the pressure goes on in a World Cup, the answers aren't in the stands.
While Hansen and his cohorts declare that the bosses have a master plan the rest of us simply don't understand, the ground has certainly shifted for Hansen's last stand.
A strength of Hansen's reign has been the clarity under which players have operated. It's hard to believe that all the players feel that clarity anymore.
In the case of Shannon Frizell, a fringe loosie has paid the ultimate World Cup selection price after far more experienced players around him failed against the Springboks, who have the best forward pack in the world.
In hindsight, Frizell copped a poisoned chalice, while other candidates - Vaea Fifta, Jackson Hemopo and now Luke Jacobson – were lucky to miss what used to be a treasured start against the Springboks. And No 6 remains a mystery.
Meanwhile Karl Tu'inukuafe, one of the 2018 success stories, has been chopped without getting a chance to play at all, as the selectors – quite rightly – search for more work out of their front rowers.
You could say something similar about halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, who came from nowhere, has been nowhere to be seen, and has now been sent back there.
Ben Smith has been at wing and fullback, Beauden Barrett at first five-eighths and fullback, and we're only two tests in this year.
There have been remarkable selection and positional shifts which is not to say that some aren't logical. But the sum total is strange.
If Hansen and his mates were in their first World Cup campaign, or did not have the success behind them which they do, it would look chaotic.
It's not even clear who the first choice goalkicker is, and hard to work out if the kickers even know.
Give me Israel Folau's honest nonsense over SBW's vapid protestations
The week has included a vapid tweet from Sonny Bill Williams, who dissed anyone who thought he felt under pressure for his place in the All Blacks.
It's not clear what one of his tweets - referring to a private conversation - is about.
But he also whined disingenuously that "those that say I'm under pressure playing a game that I enjoy [should] get their priorities right".
"Starving children, the single mother raising three kids, the atrocities refugees are facing around the world, racism. This is what I call pressure."
This ignores the simple concept that people can be obsessed with sport and concerned about the plight of others at the same time.
And it's easy for a veteran sports star, and yes, an often brilliant and groundbreaking sports star, to pontificate so.
Some of the blokes His Royal Highness may keep out of the World Cup will be feeling the pressure, and they may even hold concerns about world events at the same time.
I'd prefer to be force fed the pathetic religious ramblings of Israel Folau, because they are at least genuinely held, if misguided.
SBW's casual use of world tragedies for his own purpose is narcissism dressed up as altruism.
A man who claims he is feeling no pressure sounds like a man under pressure.
So take that sermon and shove it SBW.