With 36 names, at least, to be announced in the All Blacks squad this Monday, it's unlikely there will be a host of wildly unpredictable selections or shock omissions.
We can expect a few new names, possibly Leicester Fainga'anuku, and maybe Salesi Ryasi and Finlay Christie, while Brodie Retallick, David Havili and Braydon Ennor should all return after not being involved last year for various reasons.
But 2021 isn't a fresh start year. The door isn't closed to new arrivals, but having only been able to play six tests last year, All Blacks coach Ian Foster has his sights set on building the experience and ability of the group he mostly used last year.
What's much more interesting to ponder, and where the intrigue actually lies with this coming announcement, is in the choice of captain.
With Sam Cane recovering from surgery and unlikely to feature in the Rugby Championship, Foster needs to appoint a care-taker skipper who can glue an obviously talented squad together, handle the media spotlight which may occasionally shine on the continued tensions that have arisen between the players and their employer over plans to sell a stake in the All Blacks to Silver Lake and be able to physically handle what will be one of the tougher playing schedules of recent times as 10 tests will be played in 13 weeks from the beginning of July.
Such a set of circumstances, combined with a natural evolution of the role, mean it is no longer enough to say that the key attributes of All Blacks captaincy are being a world class performer, holding the respect of peers and opponents and being a guaranteed starter certain to play 80 minutes each week.
Captaining the All Blacks comes now with heavier demands relating to sponsors; time-consuming meetings with management, players and leadership groups and it's a job that requires resilience, patience and diplomacy as much as it does strategic nous, on-field direction and world class performance.
This old check-list of being a world class player certain to start still stands true today, but has had so many other needs piled on top of it that the current list of candidates able to tick all the boxes in the absence of Cane, probably sits at two.
If it was just about being a world class performer with strategic nous and an ability to inspire, Aaron Smith would be the perfect interim captain.
Smith is the best rugby player on the planet. He's never been fitter, never played better and co-leading the Highlanders has brought the best out of him.
But what counts against him, is that at 33 and playing in the most aerobically demanding position on the field, he can't go 80 every test or indeed play every test this year.
Dane Coles, who has the resilience, tenacity and the necessary desire to hold others to account, has to be discounted for the same reason – he won't be on the field for large periods of the campaign.
There are also wider questions about his temperament and ability to appropriately channel his natural ferocity and will to impose himself.
Retallick is another who has the breadth of characteristics, the experience and standing to make an excellent captain.
But while it's likely he will be a regular starter once he's been phased back into test action during July, he has to be precluded from taking the top job on account of the fact he wasn't in the Super Rugby trenches this year or last.
Which leaves Ardie Savea and Sam Whitelock. The former could do the job. There's no obvious flaw or reason to say he couldn't.
The question, though, is whether captaincy would invigorate or hinder him? He's not a lover of the media and having never led the All Blacks before, he could find, as many others have, that it's a job that takes more than it gives.
All that time focusing on others can be draining and debilitating. Plenty of stand-in captains – Mils Muliaina and Ben Smith being the most poignant examples - have found it hard to nail their own performance come game night such has been their lack of time and opportunity to focus on themselves.
Savea is an option to consider but the risks of making him captain potentially outweigh the rewards and so through a process of elimination, we arrive at Whitelock who has previously done the job in six tests.
He has the experience, the standing, the respect and most importantly, the understanding of what the job entails and how he will need to balance his time to prepare both the team and himself.
He has the maturity of decision-making, the worldliness to be diplomatic and presentable and the form to justify a starting place even in a competitive position.
It's true that Whitelock could be damned by the faint praise of being called the "safe choice", but the All Blacks, while Cane is not available, need a rock on whom they can rely.