The ACT Brumbies will wait until the 11th hour to make a call on an injured Wallaby trio racing the clock to be fit for the Super Rugby AU final.
Concerns hover over the fitness of loosehead prop James Slipper [left knee], hooker Folau Fainga'a and No. 8 Pete Samu [left knee] with Dan McKellar to name his squad on Wednesday.
The Brumbies mentor could be forced to field an inexperienced back-row but the timely return of Connal McInerney could offset his headache leading into Saturday's clash with the Queensland Reds.
The injured trio missed training in wet conditions in Canberra on Tuesday. Fainga'a watched from the sideline while Samu was inside club headquarters wearing a leg brace.
But McKellar will play his cards close to his chest leading into the decider, giving all three as long as possible to declare their fitness.
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Brumbies forwards coach Laurie Fisher says Slipper is desperate to play despite reaggravating a knee injury after he was sidelined with an MCL strain earlier this season.
"I think he's quite positive. Obviously we're taking all precautions, but he's keen to do whatever he can to play," Fisher said.
"A guy with that experience and that quality, I'd suggest Dan will give him as late as possible to make that decision."
The potential absence of Fainga'a would open the door for Lachie Lonergan to start at hooker, while McInerney can also launch a last-ditch bid for selection after overcoming a broken fibula.
"[McInerney] trained fully [on Tuesday] so he is definitely available for selection. Obviously he'd be a little underdone but he would do a full training week and be available selection," Fisher said.
"Everybody has just got to do their job. We play to a system, and in that system you get your eyes up and then help each other out.
"Young [Rory] Scott has been magnificent in his two starts [at flanker], and he'll be just as good again, I'm certain.
"Depending on the make-up of the side, it's just up to whoever is in. We've played a lot of players this year, so whoever is in has just got to do the job.
"I'd be really comfortable in whoever plays in whatever jersey this week."
A potentially major reshuffle in the forward pack has emerged at the centre of the 'will he or won't he' debate akin to flyhalf Noah Lolesio during the lead-up to last year's final.
Rob Valetini, who has signed a two-year contract extension with the Brumbies and Rugby Australia looms as the man most likely to wear the No. 8 jersey should Samu be ruled out.
Scott is in line to play a final in his third start, while Luke Reimer made his debut off the bench in last week's qualifying final.
Jahrome Brown's season is over while Tom Cusack has been battling injury, leaving Will Miller and mid-season recruit Henry Stowers as the other options.
Stowers would be a shock inclusion after being plucked out of the Shute Shield's fledgling Hunter Wildfires last month.
"I've got that belief in everyone. We've got a few young blokes coming through the ranks, Henry as well who is here," Valetini said.
"I definitely have 100 per cent belief in them, they can step up and fill the void if anyone is out. I've been talking to [Stowers] for a bit.
"He said [he has had] a lot of information just coming in, if he has to play. Playing in front of 40 or 50,000, I think that's enough motivation to go out there and rip in.
"There will be more Reds fans than Brumbies fans, and we're the only people that can bring energy on the field because of the people against us.
"It's definitely an exciting challenge for us and I think the boys are up for it, for me myself, I'm keen for it."
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.
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