The battle for the All Blacks' No 6 jersey might have a new frontrunner, writes Gregor Paul.
There are always going to be athletes who carry a sense of untold possibilities, an allure based on their genetic blessings.
Ethan Blackadder is not one of those athletes. His genealogy is well known - his father, Todd, having played for the All Blacks, making it there on a ticket of an uncompromising mindset that saw him squeeze everything out of a body that didn't have the same bells and whistles as many of his peers.
The Blackadder apple has not fallen far from the tree as Ethan is well enough put together yet isn't going to beat Akira Ioane for speed or Shannon Frizell for explosive power.
He's made it to the test arena on an offering of quite fearless ball carrying and solid defensive work where the majority of his tackles are made with his shoulders.
Blackadder has been an honest to goodness, old-school performer for the Crusaders this year and in two test appearances so far, has brought much the same to the All Blacks.
He's big, but not massive. Quick enough to get to the right places but not so fast as anyone will say wow. He hits hard, but others can, when they get it right, hit harder.
But based on what the All Blacks truly need, Blackadder might be their best No 6.
The international game has never been less suited to glamour athletes. Fiji reminded everyone that the real battleground is no longer the set-piece, but the tackled ball and breakdown.
The term physicality is used ubiquitously, blurring a little what it actually means in practice.
Fiji gave a precise definition in Dunedin, illustrating that physicality, in essence, means running and tackling with a desire to dominate.
Attitude is the biggest part of that physical battle – as it manifests as a will within the ball carrier to stay on their feet. It sets the tackler's body height and it creates a clarity that any opponent foraging at a breakdown is to be removed by force not negotiation.
It's more than that, though, it's also about having the micro detail of technique right – that ability to ensure that aggression isn't wasted in a flurry of failing arms and poor body position.
And this is why the cards may be falling for Blackadder. He may not possess the genetic gifts of some of his peers and may not in an athletic sense carry the same potential, but right now he's producing the unrelenting graft that this All Blacks side still haven't necessarily convinced comes easily to them.
He comes with the added attraction of the selectors knowing exactly what they will get from him. There has been no volatility about Blackadder's performances this year.
He's been good from the first weekend of Super Rugby and not deviated much from there.
If the All Blacks stick him in the No 6 shirt, they needn't fret about whether he will go missing. They know he won't. He'll be at the coalface, charging as hard as he can when he has the ball, throwing himself at bodies when he doesn't.
Neither Ioane nor Frizell can offer that same certainty. Both have hit impressive highs at various times in the last two years. Both have tremendous ability, explosive power as well as a neat range of soft skills.
But neither has managed to produce their best consistently. Frizell has been excellent in Super Rugby for the past two seasons, but his performances in the test arena haven't carried that same dominant appeal.
Ioane has been up and down for much of his career and while he's been mostly the former in the three tests he's played, he still constitutes something of a selection gamble in that no one can be certain what they are going to get.
And uncertainty is something the All Blacks can ill afford in these next few months as they attempt to take the summit of the world game.
What was reiterated against Fiji is that the All Blacks can't be the team they want to be if they don't get the core componentry of their game bang on.
The All Blacks struggled for the better part of 65 minutes to get their ball carrying, tackling and cleanout right against Fiji and with that foundation not in place, the contest swung in a direction no one imagined it would.
It's on this basis that Blackadder appeals. Arguably, Frizell and Ioane have greater athletic potential, but Blackadder is the man delivering what the All Blacks need right now.