Cold sweats and feverish selection debates continue across the country but little changes in World Cup year for Steve Hansen.
For now, time is still on his side.
The loss of Damian McKenzie whipped New Zealand's rugby public into a panicked frenzy – and the on-going search for a standout blindside flanker continues to evoke concern in some quarters.
Publicly at least, despite recent setbacks, Hansen appears as relaxed as ever. He is also clearly keen to remain flexible with both the All Blacks' 31-man World Cup squad, and starting team.
"The big thing we've got to sort out is Damian was a utility player in the sense he can play 10 and fifteen," Hansen said. "We've already got someone else who can do that in Beauden Barrett.
"It's not necessarily finding someone who can do that, it's finding someone who is right for the balance of the team. We're big believers in if you haven't got someone to fill the seat, don't fill it.
"That'll come down to whether we think someone is playing well enough at 10 or an extra person in the back three. We'll have a look at that and go from there."
With George Bridge, Sevu Reece, Braydon Ennor, David Havili, Will Jordan and Wes Goosen all staking claims at present, and Waisake Naholo set to soon return from injury, the opening to replace McKenzie in the back three remains up for grabs.
"There's some young guys playing really well and coming into the back half of the season is where the pressure really comes on.
"There's going to be some good people miss out."
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McKenzie started the last three tests at fullback. Losing his livewire ability to pop up at first receiver and spark from the back is a blow but Hansen is confident Jordie Barrett and Ben Smith can perform similar roles.
The All Blacks also have the option of shifting Beauden Barrett to fullback, either from the start or, as has been preferred, at the backend of tests with Richie Mo'unga injected off the bench.
"It just means who is playing at fullback is going to have to be able to be a dual playmaker and be a driver. You'd expect your fifteen to do that anyway.
"We'll make those decisions nearer the time."
Once Super Rugby concludes the All Blacks have five tests before the World Cup, leaving ample time to examine the readiness of test rookies, experiment with potential combinations and tinker with the squad balance.
Experiments could include Sam Cane, making his way back from a broken neck, and the in-form Ardie Savea combining in the same loose forward trio.
"It's a possibility but we've got to wait and see how Sam comes back. He's been out with a big injury. The Rugby Championship will allow us to learn a few of those things."
Of all positions, blindside is most open. Despite having no clear cut starting six, Hansen seems content to let the trial play out.
Should he regain form and fitness at the Highlanders, Liam Squire's experience may give him the edge.
"Liam will come back and the guys we've had in the squad are playing well. Shannon Frizell and Vaea Fifita are showing good form and young Tom Robinson is playing well.
"Scott Barrett can play there, we know that. It just comes down to the combinations. Do we want four locks or do we want some extra loose forwards? We're still working through all that, and there's still more injuries to come yet.
"There's no point putting anything in concrete yet."
Hansen is not getting twitchy, either, about long-term knocks keeping Owen Franks and Sonny Bill Williams sidelined.
"Owen has got a fairly significant injury and he's working through that. We'll have to see how he comes back. Sonny hasn't played much so we want to see him back. Once we do that we can make decisions. If he's back and playing as good as he can he's going to be a hard man to leave out of the squad."
Ma'a Nonu's return has generated widespread interest, too. The 36-year-old test centurion is knocking on the door of his third World Cup but probably needs one incumbent midfielder – Ryan Crotty, Williams, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown – to drop out of contention through injury.
"There's no point shutting the door on anyone, especially someone with that much experience. If his form is good he'll warrant selection and if there's people playing better then they'll get selected.
"Nothing really changes just because it's World Cup year. Everyone gets a little more excited and nervous but we get injuries every year and we have to deal with them. We'd be foolish if we didn't expect to get some more.
"We'll have good robust discussions and won't be afraid to take risks if the rewards are worthy of it.
"Until we have to come to that day when we have to name the team it's still a moving selection process."