In naming the match-day squad for Saturday's test against Argentina in New Plymouth, the All Blacks' selectors will also have one eye on the test the following week against South Africa.
It is a juggling act; the selectors will probably want to name their strongest line-up to play the Boks in Albany on September 16, and so this match against the Pumas represents their last chance to have a look at other players in starting roles.
We will see how good the South Africans are this Saturday. They are undergoing an apparent resurgence and there is an increased confidence about them after their 3-0 French series win in June and Rugby Championship wins over Argentina, but until they play the Wallabies in Perth, I'm not convinced they have made the giant strides indicated.
So, Steve Hansen and his selectors could look at making some changes for New Plymouth (while building on the momentum gained by his side's last-gasp win over the Wallabies in Dunedin), and there will definitely be a change in the back three with Ben Smith, who played on the right wing in the two tests against Australia, now on a sabbatical.
Could Nehe Milner-Skudder come in there?
The Hurricanes player hasn't been given an opportunity since his comeback from injury. He was the incumbent right wing during the 2015 World Cup and the All Blacks are told that they can't slip out of the team through injury. Maybe he could get a run off the reserves bench at Yarrow Stadium?
Milner-Skudder hasn't been given an opportunity since his comeback from injury. He was the incumbent right wing during the 2015 World Cup and the All Blacks are told that they can't slip out of the team through injury. Maybe he could get a run off the reserves bench at Yarrow Stadium?
I wonder whether they give Anton Lienert-Brown an opportunity in the midfield, or continue with the Sonny Bill Williams and Ryan Crotty (injury permitting) in order to develop some continuity there.
TJ Perenara is probably another due for a start. Sam Whitelock is probably due for a rest after his workload at the Crusaders and during the Lions series with either Scott Barrett or Luke Romano good replacements.
The other big question is how the selectors continue to build depth at first-five now that Aaron Cruden has gone. Lima Sopoaga is next in line, but hasn't had a lot of recent game time - could the selectors opt to start him at No10 and start Beaden Barrett at fullback?
My point is that the All Blacks have some big challenges in front of them. There is the possibility of a much sterner challenge from South Africa and it's always difficult to play in Buenos Aires and then Cape Town. Also next month there is the third Bledisloe Cup test against the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium, which, given the last test in Dunedin, might present a tough challenge.
The All Blacks are then off to Europe. Hansen has said he will look to manage his players in order to prevent burnout, so this weekend could see the start of that.
The selectors can be bold, and they trust their players, meaning there will be no excuses for a drop-off in performance against the Pumas if changes were made. And, the key point is being rested wouldn't be a setback for any of the incumbents.
Being told you're not playing can be difficult to take - I wasn't the most understanding when I was given the news. I just wanted to play, and that's only natural. But there is so much more rugby these days few players can start every test and maintain their form.