The ACT Brumbies have moved to lock in two of their rising stars, re-signing Noah Lolesio and Len Ikitau as the building blocks for the club's Super Rugby future.
Lolesio and Ikitau are expected to sign new contracts on Thursday, with Australian under-20s playmaker Lolesio to be elevated to the full-time squad for the first time.
But veterans Christian Lealiifano and David Pocock are yet to make a public announcement about their respective futures as they weigh up whether to stay Canberra or to move their careers abroad after the World Cup this year.
Teenager Lolesio is regarded as the club's flyhalf of the future and he will team up with schoolboy sensation Reesjan Pasitoa next year to be the Brumbies' playmaker duo.
Keeping Lealiifano as the guiding voice would be a bonus for the Brumbies, particularly because the veteran is the team's leader and could force his way into World Cup selection contention with a strong finish to the Super Rugby season.
But the 31-year-old has attracted offers from France, Ireland and Japan, which could prove too good to turn down, while his understudy Wharenui Hawera is expected to move to Japan as early as this week.
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Lolesio is one of three Brumbies juniors picked for the Wallabies under-20s team to play at the world championships next month, joining hooker Lachlan Lonergan and lock Nick Frost.
Ikitau is a former junior Wallaby and made his Super Rugby debut two weeks ago when he stepped into the outside centre job for the injured Tevita Kuridrani.
The 20-year-old showed he was ready to step up to the professional level and earned praise from former Wallabies Stephen Hoiles and Drew Mitchell.
"I thought he showed enough to say why he's there. He's a classy young player, he's only two or three years out of school and it was a tough initiation," Hoiles said on Fox Sports. "He showed glimpses and looked comfortable out there.
The Brumbies will be forced to patiently watch when their top of the Australian conference spot goes on the line when the Melbourne Rebels play on Friday night.
The Rebels can jump ahead of the Brumbies if they beat the Pretoria Bulls while the ACT has a bye this weekend.
The closeness of the Australian teams has set up a tense battle for a guaranteed ticket to the finals, regardless of whether the Rebels win or lose this week.
The extra incentive of Wallabies selection will add another edge to the run to the play-offs, with players jostling for a place in coach Michael Cheika's World Cup squad.
Cheika will take a training squad to Brisbane next week, leaving the Brumbies just one training day to prepare for the club's crucial home clash against the Bulls on May 24. The Brumbies have won five games in a row at home and prop Scott Sio said: "I've got a lot of faith in the boys to put in the work to be ready to go. It's just about believing in the process and knowing you can still get the job done."
Leaiifano has been one of Australia's form playmakers this season, but he will be up against his old friend Matt To'omua, Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley for the Wallabies' No. 10 jersey.
Sio, James Slipper and Allan Alaalatoa will like be three of the props included in the Wallabies squad, while Pocock could make his injury comeback against the Bulls.