Rieko Ioane appears set for an opportunity to continue his brilliant form for the Blues against the Stormers at Eden Park on Saturday, but is almost certain to miss the following weekend's match against the Waratahs.
Ioane, with six tries in two matches, is in career-best nick and was instrumental in his side beating the Highlanders last Friday and therefore breaking their woeful 20-game unsuccessful run against New Zealand teams.
According to agreements made at the end of last year between all New Zealand Super Rugby coaches, the All Blacks coaches, and New Zealand Rugby, all top All Blacks can play a maximum of only six consecutive matches during this World Cup year.
As part of that welfare protocol, resting players are not to be involved in any of their team's planning or training for that week.
That was seen recently in Richie Mo'unga and Scott Barrett sitting out the Crusaders' defeat to the Waratahs in Sydney despite their previous match against the Highlanders being cancelled. The fact the pair trained to play precluded them from playing at the Sydney Cricket Ground even though they didn't put their boots on in Dunedin.
Left wing Ioane has started all five of the Blues matches this year but took a very active part in training for the Blues today which suggests he will be starting once again against a South African side who narrowly lost to the Hurricanes last weekend.
Midfielder Sonny Bill Williams, in Christchurch last week supporting his grieving Muslim brothers and sisters and wider community after the terror attacks in the city, is also set to return.
Head coach Leon MacDonald alluded to the juggling act involved in managing his top players, when saying after his team's fully deserved 33-26 win over the Highlanders: "Yeah, we do [have to manage his minutes]," said MacDonald. "He's going to have to rest a game very soon."
MacDonald clearly wants to keep his side's momentum going, which is understandable. After starting with three losses, they scrambled a little to a win over the Sunwolves at North Harbour before bursting into life in what he hopes will be a breakout win over the Highlanders.
There is a risk involved, though, should MacDonald be planning to rest Ioane for the Waratahs match at Eden Park a week on Saturday and that is the presence and form of Wallabies fullback Israel Folau, who soared above the Crusaders in Sydney.
Folau is the most dangerous aerial player in the game – Scott Robertson, sense of humour still intact after seeing his side's winning streak snapped – joked Folau should work for NASA such was his quality in the air.
Matt Duffie's return from a severe hamstring strain could mitigate a little against this risk.
Duffie, yet to play a match this year due to his injury suffered while playing for Harbour last year, also has an excellent vertical leap and, if Ioane is unavailable, could be tasked with one of the most challenging jobs in rugby next weekend.