George Smith, one of most influential players in the Qantas Wallabies series winning side of 12 years ago, is back for another crack at the British & Irish Lions.
The full extent of the injury problems suffered by the Wallabies in their first Test defeat against the Lions in Brisbane became more obvious the morning after the 23-21 reverse when head coach Robbie Deans called up three players into his squad.
Joining the under pressure Wallabies in Melbourne will be the Brumbies' uncapped full back Jesse Mogg, Queensland Reds centre Ben Tapuai and Smith, the 110-times capped back row man.
Deans woke up on Sunday morning to find that he has major concerns over the fitness of inside centre Pat McCabe (neck), winger Digby Ioane (shoulder), centre Adam Ashley-Cooper (shoulder) and full back Berrick Barnes (head knock).
All four players were sent for scans after the game with their selection prospects for the second Test against the Lions at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday night in Melbourne to be determined in the early part of the week.
The status of inside centre Christian Leali'ifano, whose Test debut lasted 50 seconds after he got his head in the wrong place as he tackled Jonathan Davies and had to be carried off on a stretcher, will also be reviewed later in the week.
The addition of Smith, who celebrated his 21st birthday the last time these two teams met in the 2001 series 12 years ago, is significant because Deans had said he wouldn't consider him earlier in the year when he was playing on a short term contract at the Brumbies.
He last played for the Wallabies in a 33-12 win over Wales in Cardiff four years ago and is currently the third most capped Wallaby behind George Gregan (139) and Nathan Sharpe (116). Although technically still registered to the Japanese club Suntory, Smith was cleared by the Australian Rugby Union to play against the Lions after extending his contract with the Brumbies through until the end of the Super Rugby competition.
His chances of playing in the series took a knock when he picked up a knee injury in the defeat to the Waratahs last month, but he is no back running. He has been called into camp so that the Wallabies coaching and medical staff can assess his readiness for a Test return, with no decision on his availability for Saturday's second Test to be made until later in the week.
Both Mogg and Tapuai have played against the Lions already on tour, Mogg enjoying an outstanding game in the Brumbies 14-12 victory in Canberra and Tapuai started in the Reds' 22-12 defeat.
Tapuai appeared for Australia on last year's Autumn tour and is comfortable at both inside and outside centre. Mogg joins the Wallabies just 18 months after first landing a development contract with the Brumbies.