The All Blacks' depth at halfback has been highlighted by the inclusion of young Chiefs star Tawera Kerr-Barlow at training in the build-up to their Rugby Championship opener against the Wallabies on Saturday.
Fifty-nine -Test veteran Piri Weepu is aware of the challenge the 22-year-old presents but says Kerr-Barlow's presence does not threaten his own spot within the squad.
"Throughout the whole season, it's been like that," a relaxed Weepu explained to ONE Sport today.
"Having him in camp is a big thing for himself - he's an up-and-coming young fella that could be coming through.
"It's a matter of him learning as much as he can off myself and the other boys involved in the team."
After starring for the All Blacks against the Wallabies in last year's World Cup semi-final, Weepu has had to battle form, fitness, and public perception issues to put himself back in contention for another crack at the Australians.
"We did win that huge victory (last year), but it's a fresh slate - you can't really dwell on the past," Weepu said.
"Obviously how I started out (this season) wasn't the greatest but I've worked my arse off to be back here.
"This is chance for myself to try and work as hard as I can and get back into a starting role."
Weepu said Kerr-Barlow offers a different style of play to his own and he was impressed enough by his form in the Super Rugby finals to know that he'll be pushing for an All Blacks' jumper sooner rather than later.
"He's probably a bit more physical than what I am.
"He's a pretty talented young man. You've seen how he went in the semi and the final for the Chiefs this year.
"I'm pretty sure he'll be knocking at the door."
Weepu is looking forward to locking horns with Wallaby halfback Will Genia and knows the All Blacks will have to be at their best to negate his sniping runs.
"Obviously he's a big threat for them, so I guess we'll definitely be trying to shut him down.
"We try not to let him play his usual game which is poking his head around the corner and draw defenders and put guys into holes.
"We've got quite few drills this week to make sure we put them under pressure when they've got the ball and making sure we secure the ball when we take it into contact."
Weepu insists the All Blacks are not taking the Wallabies lightly and that form from the June Tests would not be a good guide as to how the teams would fare in the Rugby Championship.
"They won't have shown everything against Wales. They would have saved a few things so we've just got to be prepared to make sure we shut them down."
"This whole week we've been trying to polish that up and make sure we go into this weekend with everyone pretty much on the job."