Tevita Kuridrani and Jordan Petaia will find themselves at the centre of a Wallabies audition set to have national coach Dave Rennie licking his lips on the road to the Bledisloe Cup.
ACT Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has recalled Kuridrani at outside centre for Super Rugby AU's top of the table showdown with the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.
The 61-Test Wallaby is now on a collision course with Reds sensation Petaia after he was drafted into the No. 13 jersey following a stint on the wing in his return from injury.
The clash has no bearing on the final standings but the winner will ride a wave of confidence into a finals series set to wrap up in Canberra on September 19.
Queensland loom as the Brumbies' biggest threat in the title race, with McKellar saying the contest is sure to have Rennie and his assistants "rubbing their hands together" in excitement.
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"A lot of the players that will be out there at 7.20pm on Saturday night will be lining up in Bledisloe I in a few weeks' time," McKellar said.
"It's exciting for the Wallaby coaches and rugby supporters in general. This is the game people were looking forward to before COVID struck, and it's upon us now. We'll see how it goes."
Kuridrani returns from a two-week stint on the sideline to bolster the competition front-runners' XV, with Solomone Kata shuffling back to the bench after a fortnight in the position.
McKellar is adamant Kuridrani was not dropped - likening that term to something more apt for "an old girlfriend" rather than a footballer - and says the 29-year-old needed a break to make some minor tweaks in his game.
It is an approach the Brumbies have become renowned for in their charge to the top of the competition standings, with McKellar often rotating players all over the park.
Even so the conversations never get easier when McKellar is forced to leave someone out of the match day squad. The Brumbies mentor says it would be a little easier if the player in question was cutting corners.
But that's not a problem he has to contend with at the club's University of Canberra base, "because these boys rip in and apply themselves well, and Tev is no different".
Now the prospect of lining up against a fellow Wallaby in Petaia looms as a chance for Kuridrani to make a major statement in one of the biggest domestic games in recent memory.
"There's no doubt when Tev is playing well that he is our number 13, and he has been here for a long period of time. He's the best defensive 13 in Australia and one of the best in the world," McKellar said.
"It was a good opportunity to give some other guys a chance and make sure we've got good coverage there if we needed to make a change at 13.
"Tevita has bought into the feedback I gave him and he is ready to play well on Saturday against what is a good Reds backline.
"I gave him some things to work on and his attitude towards it was fantastic. He's in really good shape heading into this game on Saturday night.
"He has only been out for two weeks, and collectively over the last few years he has played a lot of rugby. I don't think he'll be rusty or anything like that. He is ready to perform well on Saturday.
"We've worked hard on it. They're really simple things, it's not rocket science. I haven't asked him to change a whole lot in and around a specific skill set. He has forced his way back in through a really good attitude and application."
SUPER RUGBY AU ROUND 10
Saturday: Queensland Reds v ACT Brumbies in Brisbane, 7.20pm.
Brumbies squad: 1. Scott Sio, 2. Folau Fainga'a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Will Miller, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Nic White, 10. Bayley Kuenzle, 11. Tom Wright, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Andy Muirhead, 15. Tom Banks. Replacements: 16. Connal McInerney, 17. James Slipper, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Nick Frost, 20. Lachlan McCaffrey, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Len Ikitau, 23. Solomone Kata.
Reds squad: 1. Harry Hoopert, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Angus Blyth, 5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 6. Liam Wright (c), 7. Fraser McReight, 8. Harry Wilson, 9. Tate McDermott, 10. James O'Connor, 11. Filipo Daugunu, 12. Hamish Stewart, 13. Jordan Petaia, 14. Chris Feauai-Sautia, 15. Jock Campbell. Replacements: 16. Josh Nasser, 17. JP Smith, 18. Ruan Smith, 19. Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20. Angus Scott-Young, 21. Moses Sorovi, 22. Bryce Hegarty, 23. Hunter Paisami.