Rob Valetini has declared himself ready to fill the void at the back of the ACT Brumbies' scrum as the club faces a nervous wait on a Wallabies trio on the road to the Super Rugby AU final.
Pete Samu is awaiting scan results on a knee injury which could rule him out of the decider against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Saturday night, with Valetini the man to fill the No. 8 jersey if required.
Loosehead prop James Slipper will be given every chance to prove his fitness as he manages a troublesome left knee. Scott Sio could step into the starting XV while Harry Lloyd waits in the wings.
Hooker Folau Fainga'a was the other concern in the fallout of the Brumbies' qualifying final win over the Western Force, but he looks set to line up against the Reds.
Valetini played No. 8 against the Melbourne Rebels a fortnight ago and feels "confident and comfortable" in his ability to slot in again with silverware on the line.
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It comes as little surprise given the 22-year-old international has enjoyed the best year of his career having come into his own as a leader of the Brumbies' pack.
"It's definitely something I've had to work on through the years. I started as a young buck here and had older leaders ahead of me, so there were things I could learn off them," Valetini said.
"I'm not too good with my talking, usually just through my actions, I just try to lead through my actions out there on the field and hopefully the team can follow or get a bit of energy through that.
"For me, it's trying to get repeat efforts, whether that's tackling or carries. It's something I'd been working on this pre-season just gone. Last year I didn't carry too much or anything, so I'm just trying to take that step ahead.
"If I'm on a roll, just with momentum and carries and tackles, I know the team will follow. It's just knowing that I've got a role in this team."
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar always knew Valetini had it in him - so too did Wallabies mentor Dave Rennie - and a demand to improve his work rate has taken his game to another level.
"As an individual I just feel like he has matured. He has grown up a lot, Robbie, he has always had that potential," McKellar said.
"I remember having a conversation with Dave Rennie about him in the past. He is a genuine world-class player. He had the potential to be, and now we're starting to see that week in, week out.
"He has got a leadership role within our group around defence which he has really owned. He has got more of a voice in the group now, as does Len Ikitau, and he is thriving off the back of that.
"It comes off the back of consistent training and preparation day in, day out. I'm really proud of him."
SUPER RUGBY AU FINAL
Saturday: Queensland Reds v ACT Brumbies at Lang Park, 7.45pm. Broadcast: Live on Stan Sport and 9Gem. Tickets from Ticketek.
*The Brumbies are offering a package for fans including a charter flight to and from Brisbane, a ticket to the final, and one night's accommodation. Secure your seat here.