AUCKLAND - Having first crossed paths on a suburban Brisbane footy ground more than a decade ago, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk are now set to unleash the NRL's most devastating combination on the international arena.
The Melbourne trio will line up alongside each other in tonight's Test against New Zealand at Eden Park.
It won't be the first time they have done so in the green and gold, but following Darren Lockyer's retirement and Cronk's elevation, it will be the first time they have done so as the undisputed first choice.
And it is a combination that - given the portfolio of performances they have produced in the purple of the Storm - could alter the landscape of international rugby league.
The common consensus is that the Kiwis have been bridging the gap to the Australians in recent years, but as they have done to their NRL rivals, Smith, Cronk and Slater have the potential to take the Kangaroos to a whole new level.
The trio bring to the table an individual skill set amongst the best in the game, but it's in partnership that their true brilliance comes to the fore.
"It's a unique bond that we have together. We've been around footy teams together for a long time, so we know each other's game off by heart now," Smith told AAP.
"We have a bit of an instinct of what each other's going to do on the field.
"Spending every day together, being under the same coach for our whole career has certainly made our combination a lot stronger."
That combination first began at Brisbane Norths in 2000, when Cronk and Smith were sent there by the Storm having been signed straight out of school.