Wallaby tighthead prop Sekope Kepu believes that his Waratahs understudy Paddy Ryan will shine if given an opportunity at Test level.
The 23-year-old was the biggest bolter in Wallaby coach Robbie Deans 27-man Rugby Championship training squad named on Monday, and Test incumbent Kepu is confident that Ryan has what it takes to make the step up.
Ryan injured his foot in April, but performed well on his return two weeks ago when he had to cover for Kepu who had an injury concern of his own, and has been rewarded with his first call-up to the Wallaby squad.
Kepu said that Ryan's impressive form at scrum-time was the key to getting noticed by the Wallaby coach, and added that his high work-rate around the park would have counted heavily in his favour as well.
He commented: "Paddy did really well for us in the last couple of games, especially with his scrummaging and his work rate. To pull off two 80 minute performances after such an injury break shows how hard he has been working.
"Robbie (Deans) has seen the fact that Paddy has stepped in and filled that position with the Waratahs and done a really good job, not only in the scrum, but also with his all round game - his defence, his carrying and hitting rucks - that's what he's interested in and that's what Paddy brings," said Kepu.
Ryan will join 12 of his Waratahs teammates in Sydney for a three-day camp between July 24-26. The wider training group does not include any Reds players as they are the only Australian Super Rugby team that qualified for the play-offs.