This Saturday should see, at least for some period, the greatest locking partnership in All Blacks history reunited.
Retallick, after two seasons in Japan, is likely to find himself on the field at some stage in Dunedin this weekend.
Coach Ian Foster suggested Retallick, having spent so long out of the high intensity world of Super Rugby and having not played for five weeks, battled through training last week, trying to sharpen his pass and catch as well as his natural instincts.
He's not quite where he needs to be in terms of game readiness, but it would seem, given the stated goal of giving everyone in the squad game time this series, that Retallick, be it whether he starts or comes off the bench, is going to rekindle his test career this weekend.
And it will feel a little nostalgic to see Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick clanking around Forsyth Barr Stadium together – a heart-warming, soul-soothing sort of nostalgia like seeing sepia-toned pictures from the 1970s where everyone had so much hair and an insatiable appetite for suede and corduroy, sometimes even in the same outfit.
It is a partnership that brings the same sort of comfort as seeing the fish flopped on top of the chips, the strawberries sitting next to the cream, the tonic fizzing into the gin. Whitelock and Retallick – it instinctively feels right, powerful and meant to be.
And it also feels overdue that they be paired together at least for part of the forthcoming test against Fiji.
They last played together in the World Cup semifinal of 2019, but Retallick wasn't his real self at that tournament – coming into it having not played for nine weeks due to a dislocated shoulder.
In truth, the partnership hasn't been at full noise since the Rugby Championship of 2017 – which was the last time Retallick enjoyed an extended injury-free run. He didn't tour Europe at the end of that year due to a family event and he only managed seven tests in 2018 due to constant, serious injuries.
The All Blacks have missed him. No one brings the same sort of presence and physical edge as Retallick and no one brings out the best in Whitelock quite the same way.
That's the thing about great partnerships – they have a way of accentuating the best bits of the individual component parts.
Whitelock has been steady, reliable and all sorts of wholesome things for the All Blacks since late 2017.
But bring back Retallick and Whitelock will win more hyperbolic praise because the presence of his long-time partner will not only drive him to higher standards, it will enable the captain to focus more on the strengths of his game.
It's a double bang for the Retallick buck as he too brings a thunderous ability to carry the ball hard in the middle of the field – something they simply haven't been able to do as effectively with either Scott Barrett or Patrick Tuipulotu.
He'll also bring that competitor's mentality, finding ways to rattle opponents, to put that all important frisson of doubt front of their minds about whether they have the character to front for 80 minutes against a bloke who seemingly plays as if he has six elbows, eight knees and not one, soft fleshy bit in between.
The caveat in all this, though, is whether Retallick can return to being the player he was in his prime years between 2012 and 2016.
Two seasons in Japan have seen him drop from about 123kg to 117kg and he's come home with an improved aerobic capacity and a higher top end speed.
But test football in this part of the world, while fast and furious at times, also comes with a demand to smack people off their feet and move bodies that don't want to be moved.
Japan was great for Retallick's joints and his mental wellbeing. It was also great for his mobility and athleticism.
But he needs to rebuild his game in these coming months or at least add in crunchy, nasty parts to supplement his work in the loose. In short, he needs to effectively acclimatise to the brutality of test football.
He won't necessarily find his feet immediately, but only a fool would bet against him, in time, reviving the dormant enforcer within him.
Which is why his return to the test fold will elicit warm and welcome feelings.
There will be a moment ahead of the first scrum Whitelock and Retallick put down together when they will wrap their arms around each other, eyes focused on the ground, before they kneel, scoop their hands between the legs of the prop in front of them and then smash 240kg of combined grunt into the All Blacks scrum.
That will be the moment the rugby universe begins to feel like it may once again be spinning perfectly on its axis and that these two will start writing one last chapter in their already storied history.