Winger Mark Calderwood is poised for a dramatic call-up for England's World Cup showdown with Australia in Melbourne.
The 27-year-old is the likely replacement for his former Leeds team-mate Lee Smith, who is struggling to recover from a foot injury sustained in England's opening 32-22 win over Papua New Guinea in Townsville.
Coach Tony Smith has not yet ruled out his namesake but he was unable to train with the squad on Tuesday and hopes have faded.
Wingman Smith marked his full Test debut with a hat-trick of tries against the Kumuls but Calderwood would be a more than handy replacement.
He remains one of the fastest men in Super League and demonstrated superb defensive qualities on his farewell appearance for Wigan in their final eliminator at Leeds last month.
That performance clinched his place in Smith's 24-man squad and a place in the side to take on the Kangaroos at Telstra Dome on Sunday would represent a remarkable turnaround in fortunes.
Ignored for the mid-season international against France and unable to command a regular place in Brian Noble's Warriors team in mid-season, Calderwood faced an uncertain future after being told his contract would not be renewed.
But Hull came in with an offer of a two-year contract and, with his mind settled, Calderwood produced his best rugby of the season just at the right time.
He caught the eye in England's warm-up match against Wales earlier this month and was close to selection for the opening game against Papua New Guinea.
Calderwood's likely opponent at the Telstra Dome will be Brent Tate, who was taken off with slight concussion during Australia's 30-6 win over New Zealand in Sydney on Sunday but has been cleared to play.