The experimental phase is over and the results are in - Damian McKenzie is set to be the Chiefs' first five for the rest of the campaign.
The electric rookie will take the No 10 jersey for tomorrow's showdown with the Hurricanes and, with five games to play in the regular season, it is his to lose.
After Aaron Cruden ruptured his knee ligaments last month, the Chiefs assessed their options and plotted how to progress without their backline leader.
With the highly rated McKenzie, his elder brother Marty and experienced utility Andrew Horrell in the squad, coach Dave Rennie and his staff opted for an open competition.
Marty McKenzie earned the first crack in the win over the Force and Horrell was next in the loss to the Rebels.
Both men turned in solid if unspectacular displays.
And if a touch of spectacular is required to cool the red-hot Hurricanes, the Chiefs know that in the younger McKenzie they have exactly that.
"He's pretty exciting, isn't he?" said assistant coach Tom Coventry. "He's an exciting ball carrier and first receiver, he makes things happen around him, he's very fast and defensively strong."
Those attributes were made clear mainly from fullback this season, where McKenzie shone after also impressing at pivot in place of a rested Cruden in the season-opening win over the Blues.
The 20-year-old's abilities in both positions sparked instant speculation about his All Blacks prospects, but the Chiefs prudently tried to temper expectations and give opportunities to the more established pair.
"What we chose to do after we lost Aaron was to give every option in the team a crack," Coventry said.
"We're going to have to be patient with [McKenzie] and the rest of the country is going to have to be patient with him.
"He's got a big upside but, when you're a young fella and you haven't played a lot at this level, you're going to be under a bit of pressure. We're prepared to do that, though, and he's the one who's been chosen to take us forward."
The encounter between the competition's top two sides was promising to double as an All Blacks trial, but injuries to Cruden and Beauden Barrett have instead created a battle of the back-ups between McKenzie and James Marshall.
Marshall's brother, Tom, will take his customary place at fullback for the Chiefs, part of a back three featuring the other talking point of Rennie's run-on XV.
Hosea Gear was seen as an important off-season acquisition for the Chiefs but the former All Black has been unsighted since an appearance off the bench against the Sharks in March, with a combination of form and fitness restricting his contribution to 164 minutes.
But the 31-year-old has been named on the right wing against the Hurricanes, giving him the unenviable task of matching up against Julian Savea.
The main feature of the forward pack is the absence through concussion of Matt Symons.
With Brodie Retallick still sidelined with a shoulder injury, this leaves Michael Fitzgerald and Michael Allardice at lock.