This All Black gig is still very new to Ian Foster.
He has been around the game for yonks, as a five-eighths who wore the Waikato jersey 148 times, fitted into the Chiefs uniform 28 times and then moved straight into coaching in 1999.
Now he's immersed in his new duties as All Black assistant coach and selector and inside another couple of months will unveil, with coach Steve Hansen and fellow selector Grant Fox, their initial squad.
Already it has been a different journey for Foster. Whenever he steps into the public arena around his home patch in Hamilton or other parts of the country, he is offered advice on national rugby matters. Foster thought he knew how it would be but he was not prepared for the entire scenario.
"I have learned very quickly that while I understood it, I never felt it, and that is the power of the All Blacks and people's passion to share and help you," he said.
"That has definitely been a new experience."
Foster will be in charge of team attack and the backs, Mike Cron will instruct the forwards, Brian McLean will be responsible for defence while Hansen will be responsible for the overall strategies with input into each area of the team's organisation.
When Foster quit playing and turned to assist Kiwi Searancke with Waikato in 1999, he had no sense that decision would have him on the All Black panel this season.
It was only when he shifted to coach the Chiefs in 2004 and began to have more contact with test players that Foster began to think about having a tilt at his current portfolio.
"The coaching magnetism was there. I loved the concept of getting a team to gel and to achieve things," he said. "It was a jigsaw puzzle."
Foster was fascinated by the need to blend psychological as well as technical components in his squads and finding the necessary balance.
Coaches had to discover how players ticked, how they were motivated, what sparked their best performances. Sometimes the answer was technical improvement, at other times there were different needs.
"To be frank the learning curve is there for me and I think that is why you see a lot of coaches coaching longer because understanding people is the key and often experience is the best teacher," Foster said.
The 46-year-old career coach said selection theories from the public and media were all part of the rich response that made rugby such a heady mesh each season.
Hansen had a deep knowledge of the last World Cup squad who have lost just four to overseas contracts and Jerome Kaino who is injured.
Foster and Fox will deliver a change of perspective in what they see during the Super 15. The trio would have a great deal of debate about form, experience and who in a new group was ready for test rugby.
"We are looking for players who do the basics well, who have really good skill level because once they have that core right they can be moulded into what you want."
It would be hard to ignore what the current All Blacks had achieved and what they offered to grow the team.
"It has been hugely stimulating coming into this environment," Foster said. "There is a huge enthusiasm and desire to keep this All Black team growing and getting better.
"Steve has spent a lot of years watching [Super rugby] from outside and I have spent a lot of time watching from the inside so the players are very familiar but the role is different.
"I have to learn to sit back and assess individuals a bit more than teams."
Computer analysis, time watching players and instinct were selection tools as well as chatting to plenty of others who understood the game. TV and global analysis meant there weren't many secrets in rugby, the differences in team patterns were small but enough.
"I think the art is not to come up with a magic formula that no one else has seen, it is to do the basics properly and look at the variations around some options which maybe surprise people. Then it is a matter of timing and when to use the ideas," Foster said.