Controversial playmaker Quade Cooper is expected to be shunned when Robbie Deans unveils his 25-man Wallabies squad for next month's blockbuster series against the British and Irish Lions.
But veteran flanker George Smith, code-hopper Israel Folau and injury-plagued pair Pat McCabe and Berrick Barnes are set to be included in Deans' initial training squad on Sunday afternoon.
Despite Cooper's strong Super Rugby form for the Queensland Reds and his well-grooved combination with indispensable halfback Will Genia, the 38-Test five-eighth still appears on the outer.
James O'Connor remains the firm frontrunner to wear Australia's No.10 jersey for the first Test on June 22 as Cooper continues to pay the price for his "toxic" attack last September, and his defensive positioning at fullback for the Reds.
It's believed Cooper will likely be one of six players, along with suspended star Kurtley Beale, added to a final 31-man squad on June 11 - three days after he can show his wares for Queensland against the Lions in their June 8 tour match.
While the 25-year-old has played every minute of the Super Rugby season for the Reds, Deans is expected to select tried-and-true favourites McCabe and Barnes on Sunday despite only one run-on start this year in their returns from injury.
The backline pair were among the Wallabies leadership group last season and are still viewed as key incumbents.
Although Beale is in a rehabilitation centre to deal with his alcohol issues, he also remains a distinct chance of starting at fullback against the Lions.
Newly-appointed coaching consultant Nathan Sharpe, who captained the Wallabies late last year when Beale stepped up admirably at five-eighth, said as much on Thursday night.
"He comes back and plays well, I've got no doubt they will consider him there," Sharpe said on Fox Sports' Rugby HQ program.
Uncapped playmaker Christian Lealiifano is set to be a back-up to O'Connor and McCabe at No.10 and 12, while fellow Brumbies Nic White and Joe Tomane have also played themselves into the squad as backline back-ups.
Hailed by Deans as a future great if he stays in the code, Folau has leapfrogged Jesse Mogg as a fullback/wing prospect thanks to his barnstorming form over the past month.
Apart from a season-ending injury to flanker David Pocock, Deans can crucially select a full-strength pack against the big, experienced Lions forwards.
Smith is seen as the leading candidate to wear Pocock's No.7 jersey ahead of young guns Michael Hooper and Liam Gill, with Gill in danger of missing the initial squad in spite of his fine form.
While Scott Higginbotham and Wycliff Palu are certain selections, Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen and Waratahs captain Dave Dennis are battling for a back-row place and their form in Saturday night's grudge match could be influential.
The Waratahs, to provide their entire front-row, are set to be the most represented province with nine players while there might be up to eight from the table-topping Brumbies and six from the Reds.
Possible Wallabies squad: Props - Benn Robinson, Ben Alexander, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu; Hookers - Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota-Nau; Locks - James Horwill, Sitaleki Timani, Rob Simmons; Back-rowers - Scott Higginbotham, George Smith, Michael Hooper, Wycliff Palu, Ben Mowen; Halfbacks - Will Genia, Nic White; Five-eighths - James O'Connor, Christian Lealiifano; Centres - Pat McCabe, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Ben Tapuai; Wingers - Digby Ioane, Joe Tomane; Fullbacks - Berrick Barnes, Israel Folau.