And so it starts.
It has taken all of one match for the Chiefs injury curse to strike. In a development that would fit neatly in the "you couldn't make it up" basket, captain Mils Muliaina has been ruled out of tomorrow night's crucial match against the Waratahs in Sydney after hurting his back while picking up a piece of paper.
The All Blacks fullback didn't travel with the side and will be replaced by Bay of Plenty's Mike Delaney, who has played 10 times for the Highlanders and now makes his Chiefs debut.
"Quite honestly I wish I knew," coach Ian Foster said when asked how Muliaina had hurt himself. "We were just sitting in a room doing a video session and he was obviously a bit stiff from the Crusaders game. And then he bent over, probably at a funny angle, to pick a bit of paper up and his back went.
"It doesn't look like it's too significant. He is already getting better but he wouldn't have been all right for [tomorrow]."
It gets worse, too. No 8 Sione Lauaki also stayed in Hamilton after failing to recover from a hamstring strain suffered in the opening-round defeat by the Crusaders, while Richard Kahui will start despite a bruised hip that has prevented him from training.
"We are going to assess him and make a decision on Friday morning," Foster said. "He is a bit freer today and as long as he continues [to recover] then it is looking good."
Liam Messam will take over from Muliaina as captain in a starting XV that contains four changes from the side beaten 19-13 in Christchurch.
Colin Bourke replaces Lauaki at No 8, Toby Lynn comes in for Craig Clarke at lock and Callum Bruce starts at second five-eighths in place of Dwayne Sweeney.
Mils Muliaina is in good company:
* Cubs baseballer Sammy Sosa missed a match against the Padres after sneezing so hard he strained a ligament in his back. "What can you do?" Sosa asked. "Some things in life you cannot control."
* Pitcher Joel Zumaya missed three games after straining his arm playing "Guitar Hero" on PlayStation.
* Former England goalkeeper David Seaman strained a back muscle while reaching for the remote to tape Coronation Street.
* Golfer Sam Torrance has missed events by gashing his head opening his car boot, injuring himself pulling an airport trolley and hurting his sternum while sleepwalking into a pot plant.