A few weeks ago, Ardie Savea was asked on Sky Sport's Breakdown about where he thought he could make the most impact for the All Blacks.
His answer wasn't entirely revealing because halfway through his reply it was as though the potential headlines the next day were already writ large in his mind – something like: "Ardie Savea wants skipper Sam Cane's No 7 jersey".
The man who powers his way through contact on the field with reckless abandon perhaps not surprisingly decided to tread carefully on live television. About a fortnight later, Cane was ruled out of the game for up to six months due to a pectoral injury.
So, while like the rest of the All Blacks and their supporters, Savea will be upset about Cane's latest setback (which comes on top of a broken neck in 2018), the Hurricanes loose forward and captain will be excited about the probability of an extended run at openside flanker.
It doesn't take a genius to work out that it's his favourite position – he excelled there during Cane's last extended absence - but he didn't play there at all for the All Blacks last year and it would have seemed that that door was firmly closed.
His last test in the No 7 jersey was the World Cup semifinal defeat to England in 2019 – former skipper Kieran Read was at No 8, Scott Barrett at blindside flanker and Cane was on the reserves bench.
A forced reshuffle under Ian Foster is coming, and it's clear from Savea's answer to Jeff Wilson's question on Sky that Savea doesn't want to be the one to "make room" for anyone. He only wants that No 7 jersey.
To the question which was basically: "Where do you want to play - No 7 or No 8?", Savea replied: "For me starting at 7 or 8, I've had the attitude in the past where if I'm on the field I'm just grateful, but at this time of my career now, I don't want to be that guy that can shift around and make room for other people. For me at this time I'd like to make a stamp in one position – stay there and try to dominate globally."
So which is it?
"You have to be honest – you have Skip playing at 7. It has to be 8. I've accepted that and am trying to move forward into that position and nail that skillset."
Perhaps but probably not in the near future or whenever and wherever the All Blacks play their next tests (they're scheduled to host Italy and Fiji in July) because Cane will miss those plus probably the Rugby Championship which follows.
And while the All Blacks will miss Cane's leadership and defensive abilities in particular, they may find that the loose forward balance is better with Savea at No 7. Putting him at No 8 always felt like a pragmatic decision – he has to be involved somewhere due to his consistency and occasional brilliance since 2018, Cane must start at openside flanker because he is the captain, and there has been no other compelling candidate for No 8 since Read retired.
Pragmatic, but at the very top level, where players are getting bigger all the time along with the collisions and breakdown intensity, a little bit like a compromise, too.
Picking Savea in his favourite and best position will allow Foster to select a player such as Hoskins Sotutu or Akira Ioane at No 8 and perhaps Dalton Papalii or Shannon Frizell at blindside. They're all big, powerful men (and genuine lineout options) and that will count for something when the All Blacks face the world champion Springboks in the Rugby Championship, with Ireland also looming.
They will all have claims, but perhaps Blues pair Sotutu and Papalii are staking the biggest ones at the moment, with a challenge coming too from Crusaders 26-year-old Ethan Blackadder, a young man in compelling form – even in his side's shambolic defeat to the Highlanders last weekend.
It's Blackadder's abrasiveness and work rate that stands out but even more impressive for Crusaders forwards coach Jason Ryan is Blackadder's willingness to do his homework away from the field. "He just loves it," Ryan told me recently.
Finding the right balance among the loose forward trio will be at the top of Foster's priority list and, in a strange way, that may be even more difficult when Cane returns.