Ryan Lonergan could be on the verge of a shock Test debut with a knee injury set to sideline Nic White for the Wallabies' looming Test series against France.
White will return to Canberra to begin rehabilitation on a medial cruciate ligament injury which rules him out of the three-match series, slated to begin in Sydney on July 7.
Rugby Australia chief Andy Marinos is committed to hosting the first Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground despite concerns about the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the city.
The jam-packed schedule sees the Wallabies host France in Sydney before shifting to Melbourne on July 13, and Brisbane on July 17.
White is a chance to return for the Bledisloe Cup beginning on August 7, with his absence next month putting Queensland scrumhalf Tate McDermott in the box seat for a starting role.
Lonergan and NSW Waratah Jake Gordon are the other scrumhalves in Dave Rennie's squad, but Gordon is recovering from an MCL injury.
It could open the door for 23-year-old ACT Brumbies back-up Lonergan to earn a Test cap, while his brother Lachie pushes for a call-up of his own at hooker.
Lonergan has long been touted as one of the country's most promising young talents and has excelled with more exposure at Super Rugby level with the Brumbies.
Now he finds himself on the cusp of a Test debut after initially being called into the squad at Sanctuary Cove as injury cover for Gordon.
The French squad arrived in Sydney on Tuesday evening and will be allowed to train during their quarantine period.
"Appreciating that we continue to operate in a dynamic environment with COVID-19 impacts, we are moving ahead with our plans to host these matches as planned, subject to any further advice from our State Government partners," Marinos said.
"I want to thank Bernard Laporte, Fabian Gautier and the FFR for their partnership in ensuring this series could go ahead. It has been a mammoth effort by all involved."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: