The sight of opposing fullbacks Jordie Barrett and Damian McKenzie facing the media together two days before Saturday's North v South match in Wellington after both teams were announced at the same time by New Zealand Rugby raises a couple of questions, and one in particular: Why can't this happen more often, or perhaps even become standard practice?
Yes, this is a unique match in a unique time. It will be played in front of no paying spectators and broadcast to what is likely to be a huge domestic and international audience.
The selections, really, are a bit contrived (McKenzie, born in Invercargill, is playing for the North while Barrett, born in New Plymouth, is playing for the South), and even the most devout Kiwi rugby supporter can approach the fixture with the sort of cavalier attitude normally reserved for a pre-season match on steroids – it will be a bit of entertainment and, for those not involved at least, there's nothing much riding on it.
Both teams would have based their build-ups on finding connections between players rather than significant performance gains, and the rivalry, if it can be called that, is a construct rather than a reality.
And yet the importance of the match for many of the players, and in particular Barrett and McKenzie, two young men striving to take their All Black careers to the next level, is significant.
The 25-year-old McKenzie, who has 23 test caps, had his World Cup dream wrecked by a knee injury while playing for the Chiefs. In his early All Black days he was known to make the occasional costly error when attempting to force the pace of a match.
The 22-year-old Barrett, who has 17 test caps, made the World Cup as a result of McKenzie's injury. In his early All Black days he, ahem, was known to make the occasional costly error when attempting to force the pace of a match.
So there is a lot at stake for both men, and in particular, how they balance in their attacking games at Wellington's Sky Stadium in what is likely to be a helter-skelter affair with the emphasis on running the ball rather than kicking the stitches out of it. It won't be easy at times.
If we assume that Richie Mo'unga will be Ian Foster's preferred first-five and Beauden Barrett his preferred fullback, then Barrett the younger and McKenzie could conceivably be playing for a place on Foster's first reserves bench, and with Crusaders outside back Will Jordan starting on the right wing for the South, the head coach will have no shortage of fullback options.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced nearly all of us to change the way we do things. It ripped up the Super Rugby season and ushered in the hugely successful Super Rugby Aotearoa with its earlier kick-off times and Sunday afternoon matches. The Kiwi crowds and broadcasting audiences responded. The goodwill flowing between all parties was inescapable because no one felt taken for granted.
Seeing the 1.96m Jordie Barrett next to the 1.75m McKenzie in front of the microphones in Wellington before what for them is a significant match was another example of what can be achieved because it's hard to remember New Zealand Rugby working so hard to sell an event. Hopefully it's an attitude that remains.
Here are a few other random thoughts – well, questions, actually:
Given New Zealand Cricket have "locked in" the summer schedule – the West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh are touring here, with NZ Cricket hopeful of receiving government clearance regarding quarantine facilities within 10 days – why hasn't New Zealand Rugby done similarly with the Bledisloe Cup series (assuming a full Rugby Championship will be too difficult to get over the line)?
Or is this simply wishful thinking on NZ Cricket's part? What is NZ Rugby's Bledisloe Cup plan? Or is it all wrapped up in negotiations over next year's trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition?
Will the winners of the North v South match appoint a security detail to look after the beautiful new carved trophy after allegations the Crusaders mistreated theirs following their Super Rugby Aotearoa triumph? Or will the celebrations be a little more low-key?
Speaking of the Crusaders; assuming New Zealand Rugby are happy to let head coach Scott Robertson lend his expertise to the British and Irish Lions next year, will Warren Gatland truly be willing to share the limelight in South Africa with a hugely successful coach near the start of his professional career who is known to be wildly popular with both players and media?
North v South kicks off at 7.10pm on Saturday night. Live coverage on nzherald.co.nz, Newstalk ZB and Sky Sport.