The bold and brave new era of All Blacks rugby continues apace with Wednesday's dramatic promotion of uncapped 24-year-old Tom Taylor to his first Test start.
The theory that coach Steve Hansen is rewriting the once conservative book on All Black selection gained further credence when Taylor was named to start at No. 10 for Saturday's second Bledisloe Test against the Wallabies in Wellington.
With Dan Carter (torn calf), Aaron Cruden (knee) and Beauden Barrett (calf strain) all ruled out for Saturday, the All Blacks were down to the fourth and fifth rung on their depth chart when they called up Taylor, son of 1987 World Cup-winning midfielder Warwick Taylor, and 10-Test international Colin Slade to bolster stocks.
The conservative pick, the one the All Blacks would probably have gone for under any number of previous coaches, would have been Slade. He has Test experience, and that normally counts for a lot. He was even part of the 2011 World Cup-winning campaign, before limping off in the quarter-final with a groin tear.
But Hansen has shown he is more progressive and willing to take risks to achieve results.
Taylor is the risky selection, but also the exciting one. He has a steely goalkicking nerve, slotting 90 per cent for the Crusaders this year, and a natural feel for the game that is clearly in his genes.
Slade, is also a gifted footballer, but has struggled to regain his very best form since suffering a succession of injuries following the last World Cup. At 25 the Crusader has time still on his side, but he is a young man rebuilding his confidence, rather than revelling in it.
Taylor has been on the All Blacks radar for a while now, with his ability to play 10, 12 or 15 with equal assurance. In fact, his lack of game-time at No.10 further underlines the audacity of Hansen's selection.
Taylor played one warm-up game at first five for the Crusaders before starting seven matches at second five and a further three at fullback during their Super Rugby campaign.
But Hansen is happy to roll the dice with an opportunity that has come a little ahead of schedule, and maybe in a different position than he might have envisioned.
''He is mentally tough and plays the game with a lot of confidence and maturity,'' Hansen said.
''These factors, along with his assured goalkicking under pressure, has made this an easy selection. We have every faith that he will handle the occasion with aplomb.''
Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick comes in for Luke Romano who is out for the remainder of the Rugby Championship with a groin injury.
New Zealand team: Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Julian Savea, Tom Taylor, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (capt), Steven Luatua, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Jeremy Thrush, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Colin Slade, Charles Piutau.