Four blindside flanker options and, yet, no clear standout candidate for the All Blacks.
Truth be told the No 6 jersey is a riddle the All Blacks have been unable to solve since Liam Squire's last test in 2018.
In the 36-man squad unveiled on Monday night Ethan Blackadder was the latest contender to join Shannon Frizell, Akira Ioane and the recalled Luke Jacobson, who played the last of his two tests prior to the 2019 World Cup.
With Sam Cane injured, Ardie Savea and Dalton Papallii will contest openside duties. Savea, Hoskins Sotutu, Ioane and Jacobson can all play No 8.
Flexibility within that seven-pronged loose forward mix is handy, sure, but at some stage soon the All Blacks will ideally settle on a blindside pecking order with one contender delivering the commanding, compelling consistency needed to lock down the influential six role.
Yet for the three tests against Tonga and Fiji next month, expect rotation to continue as the All Blacks bid to give each challenger chances to push their respective cases.
From the late Jerry Collins to Jerome Kaino and Squire, little has changed in the All Blacks' expectations from their No 6.
Hit hard, carry hard, be physically dominant remains the chief job description.
At this point, All Blacks forwards coach John Plumtree admits they are no closer to knowing their preferred blindside.
"The six position was hotly contested between Akira and Shannon last year. Shannon started with the jersey and Akira ended up with it. That's what we want in those positions – we want the six jersey battled out," Plumtree told the Herald.
"It's such an important jersey for the All Blacks around being physical, gaining momentum, stopping opposition and winning ball. We know what Ardie and Dalton can bring to the party in that seven and eight position but you'd certainty have to say six is up for grabs.
"I was really happy with the way Shannon played in Super Rugby. I thought he started the season really well and he finished well. He found that consistency that was probably missing in his game for a little while.
"Right now it's going to be an interesting selection."
Cullen Grace is the main causality from last year's loose forwards with Blackadder ultimately usurping his Crusaders team-mate.
"Selecting loose forwards in this country is always going to be a challenge and there's always going to be disappointment. I'm sure Cullen is disappointed," Plumtree said. "He's had a pretty good season, particularly the backend of it but we couldn't ignore the way Ethan Blackadder played. Consistently he was one of the standouts for the Crusaders the whole year.
"Akira had a slow start but showed his merit at the backend of the season and started to get his work-rate up. It was a tough selection."
Based on Plumtree's comments it seems Frizell has the inside running to again start the test season at six – probably in combination with Papalii and Savea.
Sotutu and Jacobson, while physical, offer points of difference with their subtle skill. Sotutu's basketball background allows him to grip the ball in one hand and offload and he is quick off the back of the scrum. Jacobson is deceptively agile, using quick feet to beat defenders in contact, and is strong over the ball too.
"The skill level from those boys that's right up there. I'm been really impressed with Luke Jacobson in that department with the Chiefs this year. The amount of quality offloads he puts in contact; the ability for those loose forwards to keep ball alive and break defences open that's what you need, but you can't go away from that grunt."
First and foremost Plumtree does not shy away from the pure physicality needed with and without the ball to combat the hulking men the likes of South Africa, Argentina, Ireland and France will possess later this year.
Brodie Retallick's return from a near two-year test absence in the middle of the park will add valued mongrel, but it's imperative the All Blacks have a No 6 stand up an own the enforcer title this year.
"All our forwards have to be dominant around the collision area," Plumtree said. "[Defence coach] Scott McLeod is talking like that to the players and they all want to be dominant. That's about tackle technique and improving in that area. Ball carrying is a little bit more my department – they all want to carry and get across the gain line.
"If you look at those loose forwards and the way they've played through Super all those boys are capable of that and all our locks are capable of that too.
"We think we've got a skilful side and we think we've got muscle too. Getting dominated out of the park is something we won't be allowing."