Ian Foster's anointing is complete.
Long groomed as the national mentor in waiting, Foster now assumes the most coveted of rugby thrones, having seen off the only genuine threat to the All Blacks head coaching mantle in Scott Robertson.
Other leading contenders in the form of Dave Rennie, Jamie Joseph, Tony Brown and Warren Gatland, perhaps believing the job was always as good as sealed, opted for security elsewhere rather than risk contesting the All Blacks post.
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No doubt, the process could have been handled better to ensure greater competition.
Wales will be Foster's maiden test series in charge next July but his first challenge will be as much to win over sections of New Zealand's seemingly aggrieved rugby public, those who wanted fresh faced change that Robertson's infectious inspiration promised.
The groundswell of support behind Robertson after his three successive Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders has been impossible to miss.
For now, though, he must wait. Foster's time has come.
From Waikato to the Chiefs, Junior All Blacks through to his eight years as Steve Hansen's right hand man, Foster has served his apprenticeship.
He has also broken the mould of needing to coach abroad or guide another test nation to satisfy previously favoured criteria.
While Foster's promotion is intrinsically linked to Hansen, they are very different characters.
One of three brothers, Foster is the son of a rugby-playing Presbyterian minister. He was born in Putaruru but spent time in Mosgiel and the South Island as his father completed his training.
Foster is his own man – a more reserved, less confrontational figure than Hansen. He is not a big drinker. He thinks deeply about the game and its nuances.
Naturally Robertson has close connections to the vast Crusaders contingent of All Blacks but as was evident from Beauden Barrett's post World Cup endorsement, Foster clearly shares influential, established relationships with some senior leaders.
"He's a very intelligent coach," Barrett said after arriving back from Japan. "A great team man and hopefully we can have some continuity going forward."
Continuity is, indeed, the argument Foster must again justify. In that regard he faces a much tougher task than his predecessor with public sentiment contrasting the mood Hansen stepped in to post 2011 after last month's lingering World Cup failure.
Of those yet to occupy the All Blacks seat and experience the true burden of a role that rivals the Prime Minister for scrutiny, Foster knows the all-encompassing responsibilities better than most.
These aspects don't guarantee success by any stretch. It should, however, give Foster a head start and leave few surprises about what lies ahead.
Doubling press conference duties each week is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Wife Leigh and their children Mark, Michaela and Jaime will be under no illusions about the pressures and demands that now rest on Foster's shoulders.
With the All Blacks, there is no honeymoon period. Foster must immediately stamp his imprint.
Promotion from within is common in all industry. With Foster following Hansen who, in turn, followed Graham Henry, it is certainly a policy New Zealand Rugby has subscribed – some may suggest are weeded – to.
Foster's initial two-year term appears something of a test trial.
Get it right from the outset and he and his team comprising experienced Hurricanes coach John Plumtree - understood to be a key figure - former All Blacks prop Greg Feek, defence coach Scott McLeod and will be entrusted with guiding the All Blacks through to the 2023 World Cup in France.
Don't succeed in that allotted timeframe, and Robertson may loom back into view. Gatland is another who has tactfully positioned himself to swoop from the Hamilton wings should the All Blacks fail to meet expectations.
At a time when Mark Robinson replaces chief executive Steve Tew and the All Blacks lose a wealth of leadership, including captain Kieran Read and other longstanding veterans, this period of change may have encouraged NZR to favour Foster, the perceived safer option.
Timing and fate, as it does any path in life, played a role in Foster's promotion.
Hansen's succession, and by extension Foster's as his assistant, could have been much more fraught had the All Blacks not sneaked past France by one point in the 2011 World Cup final.
As it transpired Hansen, with Foster by his side as selector and second in command, oversaw one of the greatest All Blacks tenures in history, the height of which featured repeat World Cup success in 2015, the first such triumph on foreign soil.
The final two years were, however, categorised by a decline in form that culminated in the crushing World Cup seminal defeat to England.
The All Blacks forward pack failed to lay the platform that fateful night in Yokohama, leaving playmakers on the backfoot but the attack was also too predictable in the face of England's suffocating defensive line speed.
This is partly where angst about Foster stems from. There and his lack of trophies as standalone head coach with Waikato (2002-03) and the Chiefs (2004-11).
During those eight years Foster guided the Chiefs to one semifinal and the thrashing at the hands of the Bulls in the 2009 Pretoria final.
Perception of his Super Rugby term is skewed, somewhat, as he did not have the freedom to recruit headline figures from outside the Chiefs traditional boundaries in the same way franchise contracting opened the doors post his era.
The first and immediate twin titles Rennie, Wayne Smith and Tom Coventry then delivered the Chiefs in 2012 and '13 cast an inescapable shadow.
Before entering the coaching realm Foster made his mark as the most capped Waikato player of all time.
An astute first five-eighth, he played 148 games over 14 years (1985-98) as well as 26 times for the Chiefs (1996-98).
His Waikato team of the 1980s and '90s included Gatland, John Mitchell, Richard Loe, Graham Purvis, Steve Gordon and Duane Monkley.
Foster retired aged 33 with one provincial title, three Ranfurly Shield tenures and captaincy experience on his resume.
He swiftly traversed into coaching as technical adviser at the Chiefs under Ross Cooper, before eventually assuming the Waikato reins from Kiwi Searancke in 2002.
Three years later, when he led an All Blacks trial team and linked with Colin Cooper to coach the Junior All Blacks, Foster's progression started to become clear.
From 2005-07 and again in '09, Foster and Cooper guided the now defunct Junior All Blacks through 16 unbeaten matches against the likes of Australia A and the Pacific Island nations.
In their own way each of these blocks paved the way for his rise to the All Blacks alongside Hansen.
Foster now moves from the sidecar to the driver's seat and gets his chance to shape this new era.