Frame up some odds for the opening Bledisloe Cup test. Where do we start, how do we sort out a market?

Next Saturday's start is in the Wallabies' backyard, although if you tap into the sporting sentiment and rugby success in Australia, the game is some way adrift in the Sunburnt Country's list of winter favourites behind Aussie Rules, five tackle kick and roundball.

It might have drifted even further after the fancied Aussie sevens side fell apart more than the Kiwi men's sevens team at Rio.

That came on top of the Super Rugby series where four New Zealand teams made the playoffs while the Brumbies were the sole guaranteed representative from across the Ditch. They finished down the list but got a place because of a politically correct qualifying conference system.


Four to one-is that the odds for an All Black victory next Saturday in Sydney?

On Steve Hansen's watch, the All Blacks have created an incredible record, uncovered a batch of new players and dealt with unparalleled favouritism to win the last World Cup.

To achieve that last triumph, they had to get past the Wallabies at Twickenham. They achieved that with some panache and have three wins against Wales to open this year's campaign.

Think back though, just over a year to an August weekend in Sydney when the All Blacks were supposed to beat the Aussies before that result was reversed the next day in the world netball championships. The Wallabies won, then the Silver Ferns.

Perhaps eight of that starting All Black XV may be missing when Hansen announces his side for Bledisloe I. Four have retired - McCaw, Tony Woodcock, Daniel Carter and Conrad Smith - while Dane Coles, Sonny Bill Williams and Nehe Milner-Skudder are hurt and Julian Savea is searching for form.

The Wallabies will have a very similar line-up to the one which was superior for most of that August night and a clear 27-19 winner.

Terrier No 8 David Pocock is back to full health and, with Michael Hooper and Scott Fardy, will reopen questions for the All Blacks about their work at the breakdown.

Problems for the Wallabies will be trying to find the cohesion which regular match-play delivers.

For New Zealand rugby followers, this is a time of great anticipation to see whether Hansen and his selectors stick with their preferred June combinations or introduce players who shone through the heat of Super Rugby finals.

Have Aaron Cruden and Sam Cane been disadvantaged by team efforts or injury? Have Beauden Barrett and Ardie Savea lifted their work to consistently higher levels? Where's the balance and how are team combinations affected?

If Coles is injured, Barrett and Savea are picked for the bench and Julian Savea asked to start in the No 11 jersey, will that seem reasonable after the Super series?

Remember, Hansen has been head coach in 57 tests, with three losses and two draws the only blips on his card.

It's a magnificent record and Hansen clearly knows his onions and rugby but I still want Barrett and Ardie Savea to start.