Colin Slade's decision to play overseas next year has just made Todd Blackadder's rebuilding job at the Crusaders in 2016 a whole lot tougher.
Blackadder, who will be in the final year of his contract after signing on as head coach at the franchise in 2008, was already reconciled to losing Dan Carter to Paris and Tom Taylor to Bayonne, and now he has to face up to the departure of another No10 to France following Slade's announcement yesterday that he will join All Black teammate Conrad Smith at Pau.
The probable retirement next year of All Black captain Richie McCaw will also be a blow in terms of lost experience, but at least Blackadder has an able backup for McCaw in Matt Todd.
There is no one obvious at the franchise capable of playing No10 at this level after the departure last year of Tyler Bleyendaal to Munster and the pending moves of Slade, Carter and Taylor.
Richie Mo'unga, the 20-year-old who plays for Canterbury in the ITM Cup, may be Blackadder's only option. One inexperienced player whom he would probably dearly love to get his hands on is Damien McKenzie, a Christ's College old boy who is contracted at the Chiefs until the end of next year. McKenzie, who will turn 20 on April 20, has impressed in deputising for Aaron Cruden this season and the former New Zealand Under-20s player looks a big talent.
Slade's imminent departure will also affect the Crusaders this season. Blackadder's men, recovering from a defeat to the Highlanders when they feel they should have won, must prepare for the visit of a Chiefs team in good physical shape after a bye and with the distraction of Slade's contracting situation hanging over them.
Blackadder will now have to turn his attention to whether he can get anyone else in at No10 or to put all his faith in Mo'unga, a player in the franchise's wider training group. It is a job he could do without as he attempts to get the best out of his All Black-laden squad in the midst of yet another inconsistent Super Rugby round-robin.
Last weekend's 25-20 defeat to the Highlanders - the Crusaders were up 14-3 in the early stages - was their fourth in eight matches.
Blackadder will also be on the hunt for another assistant coach after Aaron Mauger's decision to return to Leicester. Former All Black second-five Mauger would have been a big influence on the new No10 but unfortunately Blackadder won't have that luxury.
Crusaders All Blacks
Richie McCaw (probably retiring)
Dan Carter (Racing Metro)
Colin Slade (Pau)
Tom Taylor (Bayonne)
Ryan Crotty (to be confirmed)