Conrad Smith's reputation as the glue in the All Blacks' backline faces a litmus test against Argentina on Saturday.
The veteran centre smiles at expectations that his inclusion alone will resolve the attacking errors that dogged the All Blacks in their twin victories over Australia.
Making his playing return after eye surgery seven weeks ago, Smith said his sight was still not perfect but he felt able to play his part in a more composed New Zealand performance against the Pumas on Saturday.
"If I was pistol shooting or something like that it would a bit of a concern but, in terms of running around, I don't notice it all," Smith said, before talking up the attitude of the players this week.
"We've talked about gelling together a wee bit more.
"It's about trying to use the players around you rather than trying to do too much yourself."
Nobody does that better than Smith, the consummate team man since his All Blacks debut eight years ago, whose return is timely following the departure of Sonny Bill Williams to Japan.
He reunites with another 30-year-old, Ma'a Nonu, in the midfield for their 36th Test start together and first since the World Cup final.
"It would be silly of us to expect it's just going to go back to the same old," Smith said.
"But the good thing when you've played with someone for a long time, you understand things. Certainly, we've got a head start, it's not like it's a fresh combination."
Because of their innate understanding, Smith said he could concentrate on his own game and dispel any nerves about not having played for nearly two months.
"You rely on experience there. I've had a break from the game before and it's never affected me too badly," he said.
"And I've got a pretty simple way of playing the game. I just try to run round as much as possible and talk the whole game and help the guys around me.
"I've been doing that for the seven-eight years that I've been playing. It never really changes."