On the surface it's an odd sort of encounter to focus on. But I'm picking this weekend's battle for the wooden spoon in Perth certainly won't escape the attention of Steve Hansen and his All Black selectors.
The reason is the return of Ma'a Nonu. Super rugby's great under-achiever is winging his way across the great southern land to take his place in the Highlander’s midfield in a show of strength by Jamie Joseph.
One gets the feeling Hansen and co would have preferred Nonu stayed home and joined the second wider training camp fresh and ready to hit his straps. But there are plenty of reasons Joseph would demand the nomadic Nonu's presence at Subiaco Oval.
First and foremost, after ditching the Blues, Nonu owes it to the team that gave him a home to deliver a big one. Never mind that the Highlanders are desperate to avoid the shame of the wooden spoon. Picking up that ‘honour’ would be right up there with losing by 50-odd points in NRL, or being bowled out for 68 at Lords.
But, getting back to the bigger picture, the spotlight is right on Nonu and what sort of shape he'll be in to have a crack at the visiting French next month.
Steve Hansen makes much of his and the All Blacks environment’s ability to bring out the best in certain players.
"Judge them in our environment," Hansen tells all and sundry. And on that note, there's no disputing Nonu is one of those who delivers at a consistently high level every time he pulls on that skin tight AIG emblazoned jersey.
But are Father Time and Mother Nature about to play their hands? Is there enough Nonu juice in the tank to go another season at the highest level?
With question marks over his old midfield mate Conrad Smith, the heat is on Nonu to continue to be the midfield king pin and more so than ever before.
But can Nonu - who celebrates his 31st birthday today - make it to another World Cup? Right now you'd have to say probably not.
And, anyway, while the ink may not be dry you get the feeling the 2015 number 12 jersey already belongs to Sonny Bill Williams.