Oh, to have been a fly on the wall during the All Blacks' selection meeting for this third test against France.

What would have been gleaned from that privileged position is fascinating to ponder, as this week will have tested the respective three members of the selection panel more than most.

There has been an unusually long list of things to consider this week.

There is the injury toll.


There is the obvious level of fatigue some of the undercooked players are feeling.

There is the need to finish the series with a compelling and definitive performance.

There is the desire to see a number of fringe players get on the park and show whether they are up to test football.

And of course what can never be lost is that the All Blacks are under all the usual expectations to win the game.

Which brings into play the final consideration that they were so disjointed last week that making a raft of changes this week may be inviting yet more clunky play as new combinations and players have to find a rhythm all over again.

With so much on the table, assistant coach Ian Foster admits that discussions about the make-up of the starting XV and bench were interesting.

"Is it lively? Yes, it is," he said of selection discussions. "We go in with a rough sketch as a selection group. We basically have an idea of where we are going and try not to be too reactive to performance but at the same time you have got to keep monitoring and asking what is the best thing for this team because ultimately we have to grow and we didn't grow last week.

"And we have a responsibility to finish this campaign with a much better performance than we showed last week.

"Sometimes you make too many changes and it becomes hard to get the growth you want. So, look, it is a balancing act and we all know that. But we are pretty happy."

Consensus was obviously reached because the team has been picked and the players were told yesterday morning.

But the process of how the panel got there would have been intriguing to see, particularly finding where the respective risk appetites of Steve Hansen, Foster and Grant Fox sit on the spectrum.

Who of the three is willing to push the boundaries hardest in terms in injecting new players?

The option is there to start an uncapped first-five in a side that will almost certainly have a debutant at blindside and a few others such as Liam Coltman, Karl Tu'inukuafe and Luke Whitelock in the 23 who have minimum test experience.

And who of the three would be willing to double down on that risk and put uncapped halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi on the bench, or even start him, to see if he can hack it at this level?

We will learn tomorrow what players the panel collectively settled on but we most likely won't ever know the process they went through to reach agreement.

The best insight on offer is this from Foster: "I would say we end up aligned in terms of the risk," he said.

"I think we all have different starting points but certainly that is the beauty of the conversation, isn't it? You actually want to come from slightly different angles and this one particularly, the risk and reward stuff is even wider.

"We are coming in from a poor performance to wanting to make sure that we look at the guys we have selected and how do we balance that? This has been a good one," said Foster.