The facts are simple, as they always are when it comes to what All Blacks coach Ian Foster must do to win a contract extension through to the next World Cup.
He must deliver victories, enough of them to convince the New Zealand Rugby board that the All Blacks are being coached by the right man – the right group.
This is, of course, nothing new for an All Blacks coach. This is how it has been since the dawn of time, or at least since the arrival of professionalism.
But, for all that, it feels like business as usual. This year carries a number of quirks that are going to ensure that if Foster does win re-appointment, he will most definitely have earned it.
He finds himself as one of the few incumbent All Blacks coaches of the last 25 years to be operating at the same time as a credible, strongly-supported, domestic rival.
There's no question that the shadow of Crusaders coach Scott Robertson will loom large until there is confirmation as to whether Foster has won an extension or not.
New Zealand hasn't had a scenario like this for an age, if indeed at all. Some All Blacks coaches of the professional age – John Hart and Graham Henry - faced strong challenges to hold their position.
But they were specific moment-in-time contests where the threat came and passed. In 1998, after losing five tests in a row, Hart was under pressure from Henry; but when the board backed the former, the latter immediately headed to Wales.
In 2007, when Henry won a head-to-head contest with Robbie Deans, the latter immediately signed with the Wallabies; and so the current situation of the incumbent coach having a serious domestic rival is perhaps unprecedented.
Robertson, after a mid-season wobble, has once again steered his team into a Super Rugby final and strengthened an already strong set of credentials to make the jump to test rugby.
If the Crusaders finish their campaign as champions, it's impossible to imagine what else Robertson could have done to state his case to take over as All Blacks coach.
Another Super Rugby title wouldn't serve as reason to hand him the All Blacks job at the end of this year, but it will increase the pressure on Foster: to demand that his case to stay on is compelling.
NZR won't detail its plans or expectations around the All Blacks coach, but the assumption is being made that the bar will be set relatively high for Foster in terms of results.
And to get those results, there are two things he absolutely has to get right.
The first is that he will have to build an adaptability and versatility within the All Blacks to cope with the variety of opposition they will face this year.
That may be a tougher project than it normally is as, for the last 18 months, New Zealand's players have been on a heavy domestic diet, playing mostly against each other.
The only variation they have had since last March are four Bledisloe Cup tests and two tests against the Pumas.
So much rugby against the same opponents has undoubtedly locked the players into habits and mindsets that will need to be broken and widened when they encounter the likes of Wales, France and Ireland.
South Africa will also demand the All Blacks play a style of rugby they have not been required to since they lost to England in the 2019 World Cup semi-final; and so Foster and his coaching team will have to quickly set about re-programming the players' hard drives when they come into camp for the first tests in July.
It was apparent during the Six Nations that the European game is built, more than ever, on big collisions and box kicking – rugby that has in the past frustrated the All Blacks.
If they are to succeed in 2021, they must embrace confrontation and see direct, collision-based, set-piece rugby as not beneath them, but a valid and essential tool in their box.
His second major challenge is going to be juggling his selections to constantly revamp and rejuvenate a team that is taking on one of the most demanding schedules of the last 20 years and bursting with a serious glut of talent in various positions.
Already, the back three is massively intriguing as Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie and Jordie Barrett have been in stunning form.
Sevu Reece has sparked back into life and so Foster faces a tough business knowing how to fit all these pieces together; as the puzzle also includes Beauden Barrett, Caleb Clarke, George Bridge and, possibly, Rieko Ioane.
It's going to be a season that tests Foster's ability to build a strategic blueprint that enables the All Blacks to mix and match their selections against the physical and mental demands of playing so many tests.