Western Force prop Tom Robertson has revealed he called Wallabies coach Dave Rennie after missing out on selection for the series against France and the advice he received proved invaluable.
Robertson was considered unlucky to be overlooked for the recent series against France, which Australia went on to win 2-1.
The 26-year-old, who played the last of his 24 Tests in 2018, was determined to address any shortcomings to ensure he would be in the best possible position to earn selection for the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship squads.
Rennie told Robertson to become more dynamic and make more line-busting runs.
Robertson took the advice on board and used the Force's recent code-black training days - which is a no-holds barred contact session - to put Rennie's advice into practice.
The extra work paid off, with Robertson included in the Wallabies' squad ahead of the August 7 Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks in New Zealand.
"I called him (after missing selection against France). I wanted to know what he wanted me to work on in that time off," Robertson said.
"He said the set piece was good and he was happy with my scrum work and line-out this year.
"But around the field as a front rower, sometimes pulling your head out of the scrum, you can walk or jog around the field and not be very dynamic.
"He just wants me to work on my agility and getting more dynamic around the ball. Working on my foot work in contact to get pass that gain line."
Another returning face in the Wallabies squad is backrower Pete Samu, who last played for Australia in 2020.
Samu missed the Brumbies' Super Rugby AU final loss to the Reds with a knee injury, but he is back fit and raring to go ahead of the Bledisloe Cup opener against the All Blacks.
"It was quite disappointing not being out there for the final," Samu said of missing the Brumbies' 19-16 loss.
"I first did it (the injury) against the Reds a couple of weeks before the final. It wasn't bad but I made it worse by playing on.
"We had a bye, I got it right for the week after the bye, I played the Force and then it was one of those friendly fire accidents on the field that kept me out for eight or nine weeks.
"I feel like everything happens for a reason. I wanted to get my body right and it was a good time to get that done. And it worked out off the field, I spent a lot more time with my newborn and my family."
The Wallabies fly to NZ on Friday.
Australian Associated Press