While not a test, Sunday's clash between the All Blacks and Barbarians holds plenty of intrigue, with a couple of big names seeking redemption.
First-five Beauden Barrett will captain the All Blacks for the first time while three players are set to make non-test debut's in Sunday morning's end of year tour opener at Twickenham.
The uncapped trio of hooker Asafo Aumua, prop Tim Perry and outside back Matt Duffie are all on the bench, while the entire loose forward trio have been replaced with coach Steve Hansen making ten changes to the starting XV from last month's loss to Australia.
There are six former All Blacks in the Baabaas, and 13 New Zealanders all up.
Dumped winger Julian Savea is one of those ex ABs, he's been in barnstorming form for Wellington, brushing aside tacklers to score the match sealer in their Championship final win over Bay of Plenty.
The Baabaa's flyer is playing like he's fighting for his future and he is, he hasn't been seen in an All Blacks jersey since the Lions series and was overlooked for the end of year tour.
However Hansen insists Sunday's match isn't a trial for the axed outside back.
Hansen says the 54-test veteran, who's scored 46 test tries, has nothing to prove to him, and says Savea still has a future in the black jersey.
"I don't think it's a trial match for Julian. We've got a plan for Julian and it's about getting him enjoying his rugby and getting in a good head space about that. He's been a very, very good test player, you don't play more than 50 tests without being a good player. We've just given him a break away from the environment and hopefully that break will get him excited and get him enjoying playing again."
Barbarians coach New Zealander Robbie Deans, is confident the 27-year-old Savea will be back in black in no time.
"He's evolving his game like he's been asked to (by the All Blacks coaches) and we're expecting to see a pretty good performance out of Julian on the weekend. He's certainly excited for it and the great thing is he's still up for it. A lesser man would of said, 'Well it's all too hard', but he's still hungry, he still wants to be involved and get back and that's great from the All Blacks perspective because it gives them the depth they need."
Scoring 46 tries in 54 tests and leaving a path of would be defenders in his wake, it doesn't take long to remember Savea's nickname.
Halfback Aaron Smith says there's not a single All Black who fancies trying to stop 'The Bus' in full flight.
"After what I've been seeing lately and how he went on the weekend, we've had a few chats between a few of us like, jesus, The Bus is coming hahaha. He's been playing really well and guys like that are nightmares."
Savea is embracing the opportunity to prove his worth, though he concedes it will be odd playing against his brother, All Black flanker Ardie, for the first time since they were kids.
"Probably the last time I played him was at the family home on the carpet. It's going to be weird, strange coming up against Ards (Ardie). He beat me to playing for the Barbarians as well he was part of this team two years ago so this weekend will be pretty cool."
Savea isn't the only one seeking to reclaim his place at the top the All Blacks pecking order.
Loose forward Jerome Kaino has been usurped from his throne after allegations of infidelity forced him home from Sydney ahead of the first Bledisloe Cup clash in July.
The 81-test veteran hasn't played for the All Blacks since, but he believes he still has something to offer after coming through the most difficult time of his career.
"The team and the coaches have been awesome to be able to create a positive distraction from the other stuff. Also they've been really helpful and supportive throughout that time. I've learnt a lot of lessons, obviously I'm still working through a lot of things (personal issues) but on the other hand it's driven me to work harder to be able to take my opportunities that might come in the future."
With young guns Liam Squire and Vaea Fifita in such good form, Kaino will need to produce his finest if he's to hold on to his All Black dream.