When the All Blacks run on to the turf at FedEx Field in Washington DC this weekend, it seems only fitting that it will be Samuel Whitelock leading them out.
When the sides take to the pitch, it will be 10 years to the date (local time) since the All Blacks ended their long World Cup drought – with Whitelock the sole member of the 2011 side in the current squad.
It's a moment in New Zealand rugby history that many look back on fondly; from the challenges the side had with injured first five-eighths, to the tense 8-7 win over France in the final ending a 24-year drought – and doing so on home soil.
For Whitelock, it was just the start of his All Blacks career. After debuting in 2010, he was still a fresh face on the test scene, but made his presence felt and earned his spot in the team to start the final.
Now almost 130 tests into his All Blacks career, Whitelock said he hadn't thought too much about this weekend's game coinciding with the date until he received some messages about it, but said it was a moment in his career he'd like to replicate for the next generation.
"That probably shows why I've got a few greys in my beard and things like that," Whitelock joked.
"It's definitely something you look back on and go 'how awesome was that?' I remember at the time, I think I was 23, we hadn't won the World Cup for 24 years and that was the same question I got asked in media every time I did it was 'how do you feel that you've never been alive when the All Blacks were world champions?' so it was pretty cool to be a part of that.
"For myself, it was the start of my All Blacks career and hopefully we can have that in a couple of years for some of the young guys here too."
Whitelock, making his first appearance of the tour after missing the Rugby Championship due to the birth of his second child, takes over in the captaincy role from Ardie Savea, who will not feature in the game - while incumbent captain Sam Cane is set to make his return to the test arena off the bench following a long time out of the game due to injury.
"Ardie's done an awesome job and I've leant on Ardie quite a lot this week because he obviously has the feel of the group and what it's been like over the last six or seven weeks.
"I obviously need a bit of game time and haven't played a lot of rugby over the last 10 weeks, so I'm really happy to get out there and to be asked to be skip is always nice, but it does come with extra responsibilities and it's something you've got to take in your stride."
Whitelock will lead out an experimental team for the clash against the United States, with coach Ian Foster taking the opportunity to get game time for players new to the squad and those veterans like Whitelock and Cane who need the game time.
While not the most familiar of All Blacks sides, there is plenty of firepower and youthful exuberance in the line up, and Whitelock commented on the side setting out to stamp their authority on the game but also display good game management which, in turn, will present the best display of rugby to a new audience in Washington.
"We'd love to score off every opportunity," Whitelock said.
"It doesn't matter who we play against; if there is an opportunity, we want to back ourselves and take it. But it's an easy trap to fall into and sometimes it's just about taking the right option – are we pushing the pass or are we better off to take the breakdown, secure that and then potentially if it was a 50-50 before, it might be really on to score then.
"That's the hard thing as a rugby player, you've got to make sure you're making those decisions continuously through the game and sometimes when you think it's really on, you're better off to not push the pass, just wait and let it happen naturally."