The Wallabies joke that Adam Ashley-Cooper needs to be warmed up like an old car these days but believe the veteran back can provide a point of difference in the Bledisloe Cup decider.
Ashley-Cooper, 35, makes a surprise appearance on the bench in place of Tom Banks in Saturday's Test at Eden Park and is set to his extend his record for the most trans-Tasman appearances by an Australian.
It will be his 32nd such contest and his 118th Test in total, meaning he boasts the sort of experience coach Michael Cheika craves if the scoreboard is tight late in the contest.
"He's got good experience, he's got good communication. It's going to be noisy and the heat will definitely be turned up, and he's a cool cucumber out there," Cheika said.
"He's really hungry, he's been training hard and I think just the opportunity of this game will suit him."
One of just three Wallabies backs without any game time in the Rugby Championship, Cheika felt it important to give the veteran a chance to prove himself ahead of the World Cup squad announcement.
He may need something special to win a seat to Japan now that James O'Connor has returned to the Test side in style, while Tevita Kuridrani, Samu Kerevi and Matt Toomua are other leading midfield contenders.
Ashley-Cooper only missed one game in the Waratahs' disappointing Super Rugby season, having returned from Japan and taken a pay cut to pursue World Cup selection.
He played exclusively at outside centre but Wallabies captain and Waratahs teammate Michael Hooper said Ashley-Cooper's proven versatility remains an asset.
"He's the old bull now, you've got to warm him up for training and everybody's got to pitch in to get him going. Like the old car," Hooper smiled.
"But he's amazing. From his time away (in France and Japan), what he's brought back and the wealth of knowledge has been really critical at this level.
"The help he's been able to give those young outside and inside backs has been awesome."
Having never held the Bledisloe Cup, Ashley-Cooper could land an unfortunate world record if the Wallabies taste defeat this weekend.
It would be his 25th loss to New Zealand, the most by any player against any country in Test history.