If it comes down to who has the flashest jerseys, the Rugby World Cup is as good as won.
Quizzed on what they wanted to wear for the title defence, which begins in Britain in September, the All Blacks plumped for something that fit well and felt comfy; preferably a nice little black number. A quarter of a million euros and two painstaking years later, their German kit manufacturers adidas will today in Auckland unveil a two-way woven carbon fibre-infused garment designed to stretch in a way that mimics the players' skinfolds.
The Dynamic Stretch Analysis (DSA) technology that has gone into the jersey is used in the aerospace industry to test where aircraft wings should be reinforced, says adidas. So the chances of another Sonny Bill Williams sideline strip-off appear slim. The two-way weave is designed to stretch for comfort but not to give when a tackler tries to grab a handful of shirt as an All Black flies by.
"What we've done is worked the fabric in a certain way so that the stretch is duplicating the skin stretch," said Francois Tabard, category director for rugby at adidas' HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
Most senior All Blacks had visited the company's Bavarian innovation centre in recent years to undergo DSA scanning, Tabard said. Their input had been vital in producing a garment tailored to meet their every need. Forwards need something to grip on to at scrum and lineout time, so their jerseys boast proud, reinforced seams and grip panels. That innovation came partly at the behest of the IRB (now World Rugby), which watched on in horror in 2011 as the game buried itself in a mountain of collapsed scrums that were at least partly caused by the trend towards tight-fitting, grip-resistant jerseys.
The fabric the jerseys are made out of is used in high-tech sail-making due to its superior strength.
If this all sounds familiar, there's good reason for that.
Adidas reinvents the All Blacks jersey wheel every two years, and the iteration unveiled today is, in fact, the same one rolled out in London in November last year ahead of the All Blacks' 24-21 victory over England at Twickenham.
"One of the things we looked for in the England v New Zealand game was how the scrummaging was going to go," said adidas' director of team sports Simon Cartwright. "I think there was only one scrum that collapsed during the course of the game. It was a lot less than you would normally get and we were jumping up and down."
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will be at the launch today to provide his thoughts about the jersey. While his review was expected to be positive, that hasn't always been the case.
The 1999 World Cup jersey - the first made by adidas - featured revolutionary grip technology on the chest panels but didn't perform well in the cold and the wet.
The 2015 World Cup All Blacks jersey
Designed using: Dynamic Stretch Analysis - an "exclusive body mapping system that measures players' bodies as they move revealing strain applied to skin and in which direction".
Made out of: Woven carbon - a unique new fabric that allows two-way stretch and delivers players optimum movement. Utilised in the sailing industry for its superior strength, flexibility, give and breathability, this fabric makes for the strongest rugby jersey adidas has ever made.
Features: Forwards and backs get specific jerseys, with the forwards' jersey boasting raised and reinforced seams for better grip at scrum and lineout time.