Kangaroo-in-waiting Ben Hunt has rated injured five-eighth Daly Cherry-Evans a 'big chance' of recovering in time to take his spot against England at AAMI Park on Sunday.
Hunt has spent the early part of the week training at both pivot and dummy-half in the event the Manly playmaker fails to overcome a hip injury he picked up against the Kiwis.
"Obviously I've been training in the halves the last couple of days while Daly's away. I've been enjoying that. We'll just have to wait and see how he's going and what my role will be," Hunt said on Wednesday.
"I think he's a big chance of playing. He was feeling good at the start of the week and it was getting better and better. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see. But hopefully [for] me, he's not."
But should Cherry-Evans recover in time to take his place in the team, the improved Brisbane halfback was hopeful Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens would utilise his flexibility off the bench, probably at the expense of back-up rake Robbie Farah.
Before Hunt’s breakout season as the main orchestrator at Red Hill this year, the 24-year-old had spent most of his previous five years at dummy-half.
"I'm hoping I'll still have a role. I trained a little bit in the dummy-half role off the bench. Even if he's playing, I'm hopeful of being there," Hunt said.
"[I'm] over the moon. It's every kid's dream to play for their country. I'm getting pretty close to that now and I'm getting pretty excited."
Asked whether the uncertainty made it difficult for him to prepare for what would be his Test debut, he said: "It does a little bit, but in saying that at training I'm training in the halves and at hooker as well. I'm preparing for both positions and wherever I could be. If I just keep preparing how I'm going to play, I should be alright."
Hunt was joined at the top of Melbourne's Eureka Skydeck on Wednesday by teammate and tour guide Ryan Hoffman, who admitted the tournament favourites were feeling the pinch after last week's shock loss to New Zealand.
"I think we are under pressure, [but] I don't think it's pressure that we can't handle. We've got a lot of players in this team with a point to prove because it was obviously quite a disappointing performance," he said.
"And it's a situation the Australian team hasn't been in too much, losing that first game and having to win the next two to make it into the final.
"But we're backing our team, we're backing our ability and I think coming off a loss like that there's going to be plenty of guys where their pride's a bit hurt. And we want to get in there and change it."