Injured flank David Pocock is expected to be available for the Wallabies' November tour to Europe, coach Robbie Deans has revealed.
Bad news for the Wallabies however is that captain James Horwill will not be on the flight north, despite initial hopes that he would be available, as he continues to struggle with a serious hamstring injury.
The Reds lock missed the entire Rugby Championship after hurting his hamstring against the Brumbies last May.
"The reports are true, unfortunately I have had a setback in my rehab and won't be able to make the Spring tour with @QantasWallabies," Horwill tweeted on Sunday.
"I am extremely disappointed. I couldn't have done anything more to get back in time! This break will ensure I'm 100% in 2013.
"I wish the boys all the best for the tour! I know they will kill it. 2013 for me starts now!"
Pocock has been sidelined for two months following knee surgery but, speaking after Australia's surprise 18-18 draw with the All Blacks, Deans said the star openside would return on the four-Test tour.
The Wallaby coach added however that veteran lock Nathan Sharpe would retain the captaincy. Although Sharpe was Australia's fourth skipper this season, Deans confirmed the 34-year-old would keep the job following his inspirational leadership in the past four Tests.
"Sharpie has been fantastic as a leader," Deans told reporters.
"He's brought a lot of composure to the group and brought us back on task for what is important at any given moment.
"He's also developing the people around him."
The news of Pocock's return is a major boost for the Wallabies squad that has been ravaged by injuries this season. They are also hopeful that hooker Stephen Moore (hamstring) and utility back Berrick Barnes (punctured lung), will be available for the tour but Deans has ruled out Quade Cooper, Will Genia and James O'Connor.
"First and foremost we have to recharge the players' batteries, it's been a big month, lot of travel, so we get 10 days essentially and we've got four Test matches coming," Deans said ahead of their first November Test, against France in Paris on November 10.
"The next four games are important to us. They all contribute to rankings and the seedings for the next World Cup (2015) happen in December.
"We want to take forward some of the elements of Saturday's Test and we'll push on.
"If the boys turn up like they did last night it will be a good tour.
Commenting on the draw in Brisbane, Deans said "'to hold that All Blacks side is a significant achievement."
"The defence was great, we did a lot of work around the contact (area) and we got a lot of pay from that as well," he explained.
It was a marked improvement from the 27-19 and 22-0 losses in the opening two Bledisloe Tests in August where New Zealand dominated every facet of play.
"We definitely did improve and stopped them from playing,' Deans said. 'Essentially we gave them less access to the game and we also limited their play," added Deans.
"They didn't enjoy that."