Asking Graham Henry which Grand Slam he prefers is like asking most people which of their kids they like best: you're not going to get a straight answer.

Actually, he claims he can't even really remember the other two, but the numbers show one thing: the pool of players used might be an ever-decreasing circle, but the end result is the same. From using 33 separate starters in 2005, when the rotation madness set in that would haunt them two years later, to the 26 in 2008, and the 24 players on this tour.

The objective when setting out on this tour was to improve the type of game they were playing and Henry felt they could not do that making wholesale changes week to week.

From England to Scotland the selectors made five changes, from Scotland to Ireland half a dozen, the same number of changes they made for the final test of the year.

Halfback, wing and the midfield backs were the only areas where change was made every week.

Henry yesterday admitted that policy meant some players were getting by on fumes by the end of the tour.

"They've played 14 test matches in a short period of time and they're starting to struggle a wee bit," he said, acknowledging the "character" of the side.

"We're delighted to have won and we're delighted to have achieved the Grand Slam, again," he said.

The game might have changed over the intervening years since Henry and co first won a slam in 2005, but in terms of raw numbers, it is really only the use of personnel that has changed dramatically.

Only two players, Tana Umaga in his curtain-call and Chris Jack, played three tests worth of rugby (240 minutes) in 2005.

Three years later Ma'a Nonu would be the only player to play every minute of all four tests, yet four players - Tony Woodcock, Hosea Gear, Kieran Read and Mils Muliaina - went into yesterday's test with the chance to repeat that statistic.

Read damaged his knee towards the end of the first half.

Woodcock, Gear and Muliaina had the honour of spending all 320 minutes of the Grand Slam on the field.

Gear's achievement was all the more noteworthy given his first-minute ankle injury.

All Grand Slams have been won, on paper at least, with similar ease.

England (26-16) challenged strongly late in their match and Wales yesterday (37-25) made life momentarily difficult, but like 2008, where the closest margin was 19 points, you never felt defeat was imminent.

In the three tours under Henry, the try-scoring count has been an extraordinary 46-7.

The All Blacks have averaged slightly less than four tries a game, while conceding .58 tries per match.

It's going to take an awful lot of penalties and drop kicks for the Home Nations to win matches when faced with those stats.