New Zealand Rugby faces the prospect of digging deep into Christmas coffers to finalise Ian Foster's All Blacks coaching team.
The governing body will hope for a swift resolution to a messy situation as they try to prise Brad Mooar away from Scarlets so they can publicly confirm Foster's team, but it threatens to be a complicated process which is likely to leave the Welsh club and their supporters seriously aggrieved.
The Herald understands Mooar, the highly-regarded former Crusaders assistant, only told Scarlets bosses of his preference to join the All Blacks and link with Foster within the past 48 hours.
Scarlets executives were blindsided by the news and are yet to hear from anyone at New Zealand Rugby.
• 10 things to know about new All Blacks coach Ian Foster
• Ian Foster confirmed as new All Blacks coach on a two-year deal
• Dylan Cleaver - Ian Foster the perfect feel-nothing appointment as All Blacks head coach
Given the sensitivity of the situation neither organisation has made any public comment on the scrap for Mooar's services.
Mooar is four months into his three-year contract at Scarlets where he has sold players, management and supporters of his long-term vision and intention to create a dynasty.
Supporters have been moved by Mooar's immediate passion for the club and easy manner. So much so that some have even gone out to buy cheese cutter flat caps donned by Mooar since his arrival – those again made popular by the Peaky Blinders hit series.
With such a lengthy period remaining on Mooar's contract, Scarlets are expected to want significant compensation before agreeing to any release arrangement.
If terms are agreed Mooar's departure will be a body blow to the club so soon after losing Wayne Pivac to the Welsh national team, forcing them to again go through the recruitment process.
Rattue: Robertson disaster - rugby is a dead game walking
Analysing Foster's potential All Blacks coaching team
Dylan Cleaver: The blatant lie in NZ Rugby's Ian Foster announcement
New Zealand Rugby may argue Mooar's coaching abilities were largely honed at home through the Southland, Canterbury and Crusaders ranks but Scarlets will rightly counter that he committed his future to them before being shoulder tapped for the dream job with the All Blacks.
The other awkward part of the equation is Wales will to travel to New Zealand for two tests next July and Scarlets boast much of the Welsh test backline.
All told the club features 16 Welsh internationals including Lions centre Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, Hadleigh Parkes, Gareth Davies, Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Rob Evans and Rhys Patchell.
Former Crusaders outside back Johnny McNicholl, who made his Welsh debut in a non-capped match against the Barbarians last month and forms a big part of future plans, is another key cog for Scarlets.
Newly installed Wales coach Pivac is unlikely to be keen on Mooar seeing out this season and hanging around his backyard, only to then jump ship straight into the All Blacks team and coach against those same players.
The Mooar situation is yet another example that exposes the folly of the All Blacks appointment process which left Foster and Scott Robertson scrambling late in the piece to assemble their respective coaching teams and led to several other leading candidates committing elsewhere.
The Herald has learned Robertson's pitch to replace Steve Hansen included a coaching team of Crusaders assistant Jason Ryan, Hurricanes assistant Jason Holland and Blues coach Leon MacDonald.
Foster won the top job with the backing of Hurricanes coach John Plumtree, former All Blacks prop Greg Feek, Scott McLeod, Mooar and David Hill.
Mooar is expected to assume responsibility for the All Blacks backs and attack.
The Hurricanes are in a similar situation to Scarlets in that they are negotiating with New Zealand Rugby about whether they will retain Plumtree for the Super Rugby season which starts in fewer than seven weeks.
Holland or Wellington coach Chris Gibbes could be asked to step in for Plumtree but, either way, the franchise faces major upheaval.