Ardie Savea has had time to reflect.
This weekend, the All Blacks loose forward will captain the side in their 100th test match against the Springboks when the two clash in Townsville; the latest milestone in a rich, but not always pretty, history.
It dates back to 1921, has seen both sides enjoy extended periods of dominance, and seen South Africa go from a nation where apartheid ruled for the best part of 50 years - the 1981 Springboks tour becoming one of the most memorable in New Zealand rugby history due to the off-field protests and incidents – to a nation where players can represent their country regardless of race.
Now, the 100th test will be the first time two players of colour have captained their teams in a meeting between the All Blacks and Springboks, with Savea and blindside flanker Siya Kolisi leading their teams out.
"It gets the heartstrings going," Savea said of the history in the rivalry.
"To be where I am now, learning about the rich history both nations have and how it's shaped our culture - with the good there comes the bad, and I think right now, this week is a time to celebrate and reflect on the rich history both nations have.
"I guess to see the brothers in Africa being able to play, it's pretty special, and to have one of them like Siya Kolisi lead their country and their boys, it's amazing to see."
With the aura surrounding the 100th test between the two and the fact he has been reminded of that fact throughout the week with media obligations, Savea said he had had plenty of opportunities to think about and reflect on the history – both on and off the field – and said to be able to feature in such a special milestone game was simply providing fuel to the fire for his side.
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While the Springboks come in as the reigning world champions, back-to-back losses to Australia in the last fortnight have seen them overtaken at the top of the world rugby rankings by the All Blacks, who have not suffered defeat in their past nine tests, and have only lost two of their past 14.
"The All Blacks versus the Springboks is one of the most iconic test matches ever played in rugby so to be a part of that is pretty special. We all know what the South Africans are like and how they play; they're very big, physical men and just want to dominate. It's an exciting challenge and it's something that hopefully we're ready for.
"There's obviously been a lot of hype from everyone around the 100th test match and us being number one. For us, this is how we measure ourselves – against the Springboks; they're the world champions and every time our nations come together it's always a special spectacle."