It's been dubbed as "the world champions versus the world's best team", but it won't be only 4 million long-suffering New Zealand fans who tune into Saturday's mouth-watering Tri Nations opener in Wellington.
British & Irish Lions coach Ian McGeechan will be running his eye over a Springbok team that will provide the bulk of his opposition in next year's tour of the republic.
Barring injury, South African coach Peter de Villiers will have the majority of Saturday's squad available for the Lions' visit in under 12 months' time. Only bench player Percy Montgomery, still dangerous at 34, will struggle to stay in the squad as De Villiers works on his combinations ahead of his country's most eagerly awaited rugby tour in history.
And depending on the All Blacks' ability to combat a massive South African scrum, it may prove painful viewing for McGeechan as he looks for ways to unlock a defence that crushes the life out of its opposition, and an attack that boasts two jet-heeled wingers and a centre who seems to be able to score tries at will.
De Villiers has named his big guns as the Springboks look to add the Tri Nations silverware to last year's Webb Ellis Trophy. A giant front-row of CJ van der Linde, John Smit and Gurthro Steenkamp is backed up by the twin towers of Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha, and a world-class, no-nonsense back-row trio of Schalk Burger, Juan Smith and Joe van Niekerk.
Any international coach who can leave out game-breakers Pierre Spies and Ryan Kankowski is laughing all the way to the winner's circle. Jean de Villiers can lay claim to being the world's best inside centre, while Conrad Jantjes' genius at the back is keeping Montgomery on the pine. And then there's Butch James kicking the points and the small matter of wingers Bryan Habana and Odwa Ndungane, who could probably make a Commonwealth Games 100m semi-final, if they got bored with rugby.
On paper, it's a side that should win on Saturday. Fortunately for an All Black team defending a five-year unbeaten run at home, rugby is played on grass. And in Wellington, it's often played on mud in driving rain - just ask the Irish.
For his part, Graham Henry has picked a solid front-row of Greg Somerville, Andrew Hore and Tony Woodcock - although home fans are still mourning Carl Hayman's move to Newcastle - while lock Brad Thorn is the one New Zealander who can match a Springbok forward in the physicality stakes.
Fellow second-rower Ali Williams has seen off an ankle injury to start, but the absence of star skipper Richie McCaw means all eyes are on a brittle-looking back-row of Adam Thomson, stand-in captain Rodney So'oialo and Jerome Kaino.
And while Mils Muliaina will back himself against Jantjes in the No 15 battle, it's the man in the No 10 jersey who holds the key to the outcome of this match.
When Dan Carter is in form, there's not a player in world rugby who can touch him - figuratively and literally. He's played 47 Tests and felt defeat only five times. His 731 Test points have come at a rate of 15.5 games, meaning the 26-year-old will pass Jonny Wilkinson's world record well before his 30th birthday. His dangerous running has resulted in 23 Test tries, and few Lions fans will forget his one-man demolition job in the second Test in 2005.
And if he bosses the game on Saturday with his goal-kicking and silky running skills, McGeechan may sit up a bit straighter in his chair. He knows better than most in Britain that a certain young Wasps fly-half has similar abilities.