Veteran Wallaby lock Nathan Sharpe has postponed his retirement and will play until the end of the Rugby Championship this year.
Australia coach Robbie Deans said that the 34-year-old, is willing to delay his exit from the game with skipper James Horwill expected to be out for the season because of a ruptured hamstring and veteran Dan Vickerman also unavailable.
"Sharpie's indicated he's willing and keen to continue into the Rugby Championship, so that's good news for the team," Deans told reporters on Tuesday.
Sharpe, who has played 104 Tests, announced in February that he would quit all competitive rugby at the end of July after the Super Rugby season and move into the resources industry, while also working as a media commentator.
Deans said that the fact that Sharpe put such a big decision on hold shows his commitment to the national team.
"Obviously it's a big decision for Sharpie because it was a conscious choice of his to communicate that he was going to retire, intending to retire.
"He'd made plans around his life beyond the game so he's had to put them on hold and that's never straightforward. That's a significant commitment from him. I don't think it's an indefinite deferment, though." he said.
Deans explained that there is little chance of Sharpe playing beyond the Rugby Championship and stressed the need for players like Rob Simmons and Sitaleki Timani to step up.
"The moment is coming when Sharpey is not going to be available to us so we've got to prepare for that.
"We want to give Sita [Timani] some exposure, bring him on. Simmo's had a big year, played a lot of rugby. The sooner we can bring Sita on the better it will be for us," added Deans.