A game-breaking performance from Force captain Matt Hodgson made it abundantly clear how valuable the "old man of Australian rugby" is to the Wallabies this year.
Despite a glut of quality No. 7s around the country, including David Pocock, Michael Hooper and Liam Gill, the 34-year-old is shaping as an integral part of Test coach Michael Cheika's World Cup plans.
And if the "bump" on Hooper's knee should develop into something more worrisome for the Wallabies in coming weeks, it could be Hodgson – not a younger, faster model such as Gill – who is called upon in England in less than five months' time.
"Matt's a point-of-difference player but also a point-of-difference leader … People play 10 per cent better when he's there," Force coach and World Cup-winning former Wallabies hooker Michael Foley said.
"There's no surprise that having him back, the three games he's been back we've scored four tries in two of them and won one. He's our impact player, but he does that through leadership as well as his skills."
Hodgson and five teammates – No. 8 Ben McCalman, winger Nick Cummins, centre Kyle Godwin, prop Pek Cowan and hooker Nathan Charles – fronted the penultimate Wallabies' morning-after session with Cheika and their NSW stablemates in Perth on Sunday morning