The Wallabies will unleash the beast that is Wycliff Palu after gambling that their long-time enforcer will defy a 16-week layoff to immediately rattle the powerhouse All Blacks.
There are few tougher tasks in world rugby than taking on the New Zealand back-row but a rusty Palu must do it without any match conditioning after coach Robbie Deans picked him to start Saturday night's Bledisloe clash.
The 41-Test No.8, one of four changes to the Australian XV, last played for the NSW Waratahs on July 7 but his impact in the hard-fought 3-0 June series win over Wales convinced Deans to rush him straight back from a shoulder injury.
The coach - looking for just his fourth win over the All Blacks in 18 trans-Tasman Tests - was adamant Palu was in great shape after "training the house down" and his 118kg frame would be a key weapon in the pivotal breakdown battle at Suncorp Stadium.
"He's got a presence," Deans said. "He's very good around the contact (area).
"He was a big part of our game in June, particularly around the collision area which was a big part of that series.
"The All Blacks are very effective around the contact so to have someone like Cliffy down the inside channel, where the All Blacks apply a lot of resource, it'll be good to have him ... providing resistance."
Deans admitted Palu would not go close to lasting the 80 minutes but he had "ample coverage" on a 5-2 bench which includes two back-rowers in Dave Dennis and Liam Gill.
"We're just looking to unleash him and see how he goes."
Palu, who replaces a banged-up Radike Samo in one of three changes to the starting pack which beat Argentina 25-19, admitted some surprise at the immediate reinstatement.
"I'll just go as hard as I can for as long as I can," he said. "There's nothing better than running against the All Blacks."
And his fitness secret?
"Every staircase there is in Sydney, mate - we (Waratahs players) have been running up and down those ones."
Fellow NSW heavy-hitter Sitaleki Timani has moved to the second-row in a beefy pack with Scott Higginbotham, a powerful 71-minute performer in Rosario, to start at No.6 while prop Benn Robinson replaces James Slipper.
More injury dramas - with speedsters Digby Ioane (knee) and Dom Shipperley (wrist) ruled out - ensured Australia's most-experienced back, Adam Ashley-Cooper, would return from a head knock on the wing.
Rubbing salt into the wounds, the Wallabies team had barely been announced on Tuesday before reserve hooker Saia Faingaa broke his hand at training and was replaced by uncapped Queensland teammate James Hanson.
It continues a disastrous and bewildering year on the injury front for Australia who were already missing senior players James Horwill, David Pocock, Will Genia, Stephen Moore, James O'Connor, Quade Cooper and Berrick Barnes.
In stark contrast, the world champion All Blacks are at full strength as they chase a record 17th straight win since losing last year's Tri-Nations decider in Brisbane.