Looming Test centurion Michael Hooper can sense "a new level of enthusiasm" around the chance to pull on a gold jersey as the Wallabies look to climb the world rankings.
Wallabies captain Hooper is poised to become the 12th Australian to play 100 Tests when they meet the All Blacks in Wellington on Sunday.
The Bledisloe Cup opener marks seventh-ranked Australia's first Test since an ill-fated World Cup campaign came to a close at the quarter-final stage last year.
Just two members of Dave Rennie's starting XV for the All Blacks clash featured in that quarter-final and the Wallabies mentor brings a fresh coaching staff to boot.
Harry Wilson, Hunter Paisami and Filipo Daugunu are set to make their Test debuts while Noah Lolesio could join the group if he gets the nod to come off the bench.
MORE WALLABIES NEWS
So while a mainstay of Australia's forward pack is flooded with messages from family, friends, legends of the game and the odd random, the most exciting thing ahead is launching a new era.
"I get 100 today, and we've got a bunch of guys on the other side of the spectrum here making their debut. It's a good full circle for our team," Hooper said.
"These guys all deserve to be here. They've put in great performances. Dave said from the outset players are going to earn their position in the team, and these guys have done that.
"What do you say to them? They're here for a reason, and to back their instinct of what got them here, and understand [they can] be a bit selfish.
"Be selfish in your preparation, knowing the other guys are going to do theirs, other teams are going to be equally as focused. If we do that, the 15 guys that start and the rest of the 23 that finish, we'll be in good stead.
"When I flick back to the first time [I played a Test], you know what you do at Super Rugby level, but it is different at Test level. It's different in a good way, because it's just another level up. You're playing for your country, and that's just so amazing."
The Wallabies were released from quarantine in Christchurch on Saturday morning, finally free to get away from the team hotel before flying to Wellington.
The visitors will miss out on a chance to run around inside the stadium known as the "cake tin" before game day.
But that matters little for Hooper as he prepares to adopt a no-excuses mentality leading into a clash with the All Blacks few could have imagined would go ahead not so long ago.
Game one: Sunday October 11 - New Zealand v Australia at Wellington, 2pm AEDT.
Wallabies squad: 1. James Slipper, 2. Folau Fainga'a, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5. Matt Philip, 6. Harry Wilson, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 8. Pete Samu, 9. Nic White, 10. James O'Connor, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Matt To'omua, 13. Hunter Paisami, 14. Filipo Daugunu, 15. Tom Banks. Replacements: 16. Jordan Uelese, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Allan Alaalatoa, 19. Rob Simmons, 20. Rob Valetini, 21. Jake Gordon, 22. Noah Lolesio, 23. Reece Hodge.
All Blacks squad: 1. Joe Moody, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Ofa Tuungafasi, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. Shannon Frizell, 7. Sam Cane (c), 8. Ardie Savea, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Richie Mo'unga, 11. George Bridge, 12. Jack Goodhue, 13. Rieko Ioane, 14. Jordie Barrett, 15. Damian McKenzie. Replacements: 16. Dane Coles, 17. Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18. Nepo Laulala, 19. Tupou Vaa'i, 20. Hoskins Sotutu, 21. TJ Perenara, 22. Anton Lienert-Brown, 23. Caleb Clarke.