With Super Rugby Pacific entering the semi-finals, the attention and hype towards a highly anticipated series with England in July is building.
Many players have used the competition to claim higher honours, rewarded with selection to Dave Rennie’s first practice squad of 2022 in April.
Don’t miss! Buy your tickets for the Wallabies three-test series against England
Along with that, several stars clamored for an encore, culminating at the right time with finals and a stacked schedule on the horizon.
With that in mind, Rugby.com.au breaks down the options ahead of England, looking at the halves.
For a list of attackers, click here
In Squad – Players Selected in 2022 Premier Squad
Donaldson was one of the best performers in the first half of Super Rugby Pacific, leading up to his first call-up in April.
The injury struck at the worst time for the playmaker, seeing the 23-year-old move to full-back and bench following the rise of Tane Edmed.
However, Donaldson has shown his class since his return and offers key versatility with the fly-half and full-back positions up for grabs.
Gordon continues to shine for the Waratahs, leading them to the final.
The scrum-half was electric to end the season, producing a string of incredible performances against Kiwi sides.
Gordon hasn’t won gold since the Bledisloe Cup and did little harm to his chances, pushing the holders for a place in the 23rd.
Noah Lolesio’s development is going from strength to strength after guiding the Brumbies to the last four.
His influence was felt immediately upon his return as he produced a game-winning performance against the Highlanders, setting their season on the perfect path.
Lolesio is emerging as one of the key players going forward and could face fellow countryman Marcus Smith on July 2.
Ryan Lonergan has emerged as one of the Brumbies’ key finishers.
Replacing Nic White, Lonergan’s injection off the bench was a game-changer on several occasions, playing a pivotal role in their quarter-final win over the Hurricanes.
While he has only started three games in 2022, Lonergan’s impact on his arrival could be enough to see him selected again.
McDermott has asserted his claims as one of the best scrum-halfs in the country.
The Reds co-captain has been one of their best since the Super Round and has found a new level of consistency in 2022.
The 23-year-old has been used extensively on the bench by Rennie and hopes to establish himself as a consistent starter going forward.
O’Connor will strive to be fit for the first Test against England after suffering a hamstring injury.
The Reds playmaker had just returned from a knee injury and sorely missed his leadership and playmaking abilities as the Queensland-based side slumped out of the final.
O’Connor stepped into the starting role at the end of the season and hopes he will be fit enough to be selected in July.
White remains one of the centerpieces of a dominant season for the Brumbies.
The scrum-half was elevated to captain with Allan Alaalatoa injured and was one of the best performers in the competition after the Super Round.
He will likely face McDermott and Gordon for the starting spot but will have the perfect chance to claim his rights against the Blues on Saturday.
Push for selection – Players outside first training squad claim their rights
Cooper will look to continue his remarkable Wallabies revival in 2022.
He misses the end of 2021 and the first camp of the year while serving in Japan, helping Kintetsu Liners gain promotion.
Given his incredible rugby league standings, he is emerging as one of the favorites to be called up by Rennie as one of three international caps.
Edmed was the revelation of the season after playing for the Waratahs.
Injuries to Donaldson and Will Harrison opened the door for Edmed, trying his luck with both hands as he guided the team to victories over the Crusaders and Highlanders.
Although it’s probably a year or two early, Edmed suddenly emerges as a player to watch for the future.
Fines-Leleiwasa has impressed for the Force since moving west.
The former Brumby provided a point of difference with his pace and delivery, finding himself the starter after the Super Round.
An injury derailed his season, with the 26-year-old set to push his mates for years to come.
Gordon ended the Super season on a high, returning to his Trans-Tasman form for the Rebels.
Initially largely on the bench, Gordon stepped into the starting role from Round 11 and looked comfortable in a Rebels pack that struggled to match him with their Kiwi opposition.
Another prospect for the future, however, the Rebels playmaker is shaping up to be a perfect candidate for Australia A with strong performances there capable of propelling him up the depth chart.
Pasitoa has slowly found his early season form for the Force as his Wallabies aspirations gain momentum.
He was positioned as a bolter at the start of the season, but Force struggles saw the 20-year-old drop off the radar.
Likewise with Gordon, Pasitoa should feature in some capacity for Australia A and will hopefully gain some much needed experience.