David Pocock has been ruled out of a Canberra club rugby cameo as the Wallabies superstar continues his rehabilitation race to be fit for the World Cup.
Pocock is edging closer to his first game in five months, sparking speculation he could seek game time in Canberra or Sydney as a warm up before the Bledisloe Cup.
But the champion flanker and the Wallabies are refusing to rush his comeback after a rare calf injury prematurely ended his Super Rugby career and limited him to three games for the ACT Brumbies this season.
Pocock is still expected to join the Wallabies at their Perth camp in preparation for the Test against the All Blacks on August 10.
Whether he plays any part in either Bledisloe Cup match will be decided by Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and his medical staff with the long-term view of having Pocock available for World Cup duties in September.
The Wallabies have three internationals left before their World Cup-opener against Fiji on September 21.
It was hoped Pocock would be fit to play at least one of those three matches to prove his fitness before the World Cup squad is finalised.
The 31-year-old has played just three games in the past eight months. His last game was for the Brumbies on March 8.
It's believed Pocock could still be at least two weeks away from getting game time, limiting his chances to prove himself on the international stage.
"I gave [Pocock] a call and he said he wasn't available. He said if he was going to play for anyone, it would have been us," said Owls coach Sam Rolfe.
"He's played in a World Cup final and arguably Australia's best player, it would have been a good experience for everyone.
"But the guys that got us to the final, it's good they get their opportunity."
World Cup hopeful Joe Powell will play in Canberra's premier club competition on Saturday, but prop Allan Alaalatoa and Tom Banks have also been ruled out.
Alaalatoa (foot) hasn't played since the Brumbies were knocked out of the Super Rugby finals last month.
The Uni-Norths Owls hoped he would join Pocock and Banks in their side as they aim to win their first finals match in almost 20 years.
But Alaalatoa will be held back an extra week after shouldering a heavy workload during the Super Rugby campaign and Banks is also unavailable.
The Owls will play against the Gungahlin Eagles in an elimination match on Sunday, with the Eagles to welcome back Mack Hansen and shift Henry Speight back to the wing.
"You get to this stage of the year and games are won or lost on tight margins," said Eagles coach Marco Caputo.
"Your discipline needs to be good, your core skills need to be bang on ... we're just making sure we're looking after the things we can control.
"Mack's a [Gungahlin] junior, he's played all of our games with the exception of last weekend.
"Henry is just a really good citizen. Even when he's not playing, he's at training two nights per week running water.
"What you can't measure is the effect of having someone like that, boys tend to grow a bit taller.
"We love Henry ... he messaged me last week and offered to play third grade for us. I told him we could probably manage something a bit higher. He's just a good bugger."
Minor premiers and defending champions Tuggeranong will play against Royals in the other final, with the winner advancing to the grand final. It will be the second time in two weeks Tuggeranong has played against Royals.
"It feels like we've played them about 15 times in the past two years," said Vikings coach Nick Scrivener.
"We know they're a good team. There's a big history between these two teams. You don't have to reinvent the wheel."
JOHN I DENT CUP FINALS
Saturday: Tuggeranong Vikings v Royals at Viking Park, 3pm.
Sunday: Gungahlin Eagles v Uni-Norths Owls at Viking Park, 3pm.