As much as it's a challenge playing first-five, it's just as tough trying to identify young men who have the right skills to make it far in the game.
Of all the positions, first five-eighths is the one most open to interpretation about what skills are important.
That much is evident in the professional game, too, where there is constant debate over whether the running game of Beauden Barrett is a better fit for the All Blacks than the game management portfolio of Daniel Carter.
Most votes go in favour of Carter and certainly those who have a role to play in identifying and nurturing young talent have the Crusader in mind as the near-perfect player to replicate.
Carter is the total package and perhaps the only No 10 in world rugby who has been totally equipped to handle the professional game.
Richie Harris, the former Tamaki College First XV, Blues Schools and Grammar Carlton coach, who has recently been appointed head coach of Northland, says he's uncertain whether enough attention is paid to a player's basic skills in the earliest stage of identification.
"There are what I would call hard skills and soft skills," says Harris. "The hard skills are effectively catch, pass, kicking and tackling. These are the core components of any first-five.
"These skills have to be good and they have to be second nature so that, when players come under more and more pressure as they rise through the ranks, their hard skills hold up. What we often see is that the softer skills - being able to direct the game - can crumble if the core skills aren't good enough. I wonder if we pay enough attention to those basic things."
Carter is held up as the perfect role model as his game is built on pass, catch, tackle and kick.
From his first season with the Crusaders in 2003, it was apparent he had an already highly defined basic set of skills that were the foundation of his excellence.
One skill of his in particular that is often overlooked is his defence. Almost every team at every level is looking to send big forwards down the first-five's channel and those No10s who struggle with that side of the game can quickly be exposed as frail and vulnerable.
It can make development awkward as acceleration, agility and footwork are key skills that must shine, too, and often the sorts of body shapes that are likely to excel in those facets are not typically those that can cope defensively.
Former All Blacks halfback Ant Strachan, now Auckland's high performance manager, also feels the simplicity of many first XV and age-grade game plans can restrict the development of first-fives.
"I guess here in Auckland we don't, for some reason, find a lot of 10s who are naturally good decision-makers," says Strachan.
"It's relatively easy to operate successfully when the pack is winning good ball and on the front foot, but what about when they are not and there is pressure to contend with? Can guys handle the pressure and still make good decisions?"
The first-fives coming through the Auckland system are Simon Hickey - a player, despite his limited appearances with the Blues this year, who Strachan remains confident has much to offer - and Mitchell Hunt, the Tasman recruit with the New Zealand under-20 side.
Both are ready to play ITM Cup this year. Papatoetoe's D'Angelo Leuila is rated a good prospect, as is Auckland Grammar's Wiseguy Faiane.