Halfback Piri Weepu, unwanted by the All Blacks for their last 12 tests, will train with the team this week and may be elevated to start the return Bledisloe Cup test at Eden Park.
The 24-year-old Weepu has been on the outer since he was subbed off against the Springboks in a 33-6 Tri-Nations victory in Christchurch in July last year. Some playing and social issues meant Weepu, who has played 20 tests, missed the cut for the World Cup, with his place going to the improving talent of Andrew Ellis.
Since then Ellis has risen to be the number one halfback for the All Blacks, with assistance from Jimmy Cowan, after Byron Kelleher took his talents to France and Brendon Leonard succumbed to knee surgery.
But both Ellis and Cowan were injured in the opening 34-19 Bledisloe Cup loss in Sydney and there are doubts whether either will be fit for Saturday's match.
Whatever their fitness by the end of the week, Weepu has been summoned to join the squad who will have a light training run today at Waitakere.
Another halfback may also be required, although assistant coach Steve Hansen was unsure last night who, or whether the call-up would occur.
"Andy [Ellis] has got sore ribs - he is not going to have them x-rayed or anything, we don't think they're that bad - and [Jimmy] Cowan has a broken nose and a sprained knee and he will be reassessed in the morning. Both could be in doubt, but we won't know until later [Sunday]. But it is likely we will bring in one or two halfbacks."
Hooker Andrew Hore was being treated for a damaged hip yesterday but is not expected to be in doubt for the return test.
Staff are optimistic that skipper Richie McCaw will make it through an entire week this time and will be rid of his foot problem to take his place as skipper on the openside flank.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans anticipates captain Stirling Mortlock will return from concussion for the Auckland test.