Wasps boss Dai Young admits he wasn't expecting to lose George Smith for the World Cup but would let the flanker go with his blessing.
Smith was not included in Australia's Rugby Championship squad, but is believed to be on Michael Cheika's radar and could yet feature at the World Cup.
That would see him miss the start of the Premiership season after his off-season move to Wasps from Lyon.
For Young, that would be a loss at the start of the campaign, but he knows he will be left with little option if Smith is called up.
"When we signed him that wasn't part of the deal, so they've changed the goalposts. We didn't know that we might lose him for the start of the season," Young told the Telegraph.
"But being an ex-player, I wouldn't want to stop someone playing at a World Cup. Even if that wasn't my mindset, it is clearly stated you can't stop a player from playing international rugby.
"He's on stand-by, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that nobody gets injured, but George has got half an eye on it because it would be an unexpected bonus for him.
"If he does go to the World Cup, it's something we'd deal with. He would certainly go with my blessing."