The teacher who coached both Daniel Carter and Colin Slade at Christchurch Boys High School says Slade could end up the better player and eventually force the world's highest test points scorer out of the team.
Talking to Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, Stephen Dods, head of sport at Christchurch Boys High, said Slade already did some things better than Carter, and was a "perfectionist". He just lacked the experience.
"Once Colin is settled into a team and a pattern, he's a very intelligent player, almost a perfectionist," Mr Dods told the Telegraph.
"He likes things to be just the way they should be and until they are sorted he can be hesitant. But once he feels part of the system, he never has a bad game."
He said New Zealand might be about to find out just how good Slade was.
"Colin could be better than Dan and then Dan might not get back in.
"When Grant Fox's time was coming to an end, people said what now?
"Then Andrew Mehrtens came along. When he went wonky Dan showed up. People come along."
Mr Dods told The Telegraph Slade's long kicking game was better than Carters and he was a wonderful passer.
He said people should remember Carter also took time to settle into the All Blacks, after his debut in 2003.
"You've got to be careful with a guy coming in that you don't clutter him up. His [Slade] strength is that he's sharp on the field: you don't want to make him sluggish with too much information.
"I texted him the other day and told him his running lines, the angle he is hitting the ball at, are just perfect. I would just like him to be a bit more aggressive in the contact area when he is taking the ball up and in defence."
With Carter increasingly injury prone and possibly looking to return to France for a second NZRU sabbatical, the opportunity is there for Slade to push his number 10 claims.
But Slade better than Carter? Over the next fortnight all of New Zealand will be hoping Dods is right.