Incumbent Test skipper Ben Mowen has become an unexpected addition to the chorus of rugby pundits calling for his own axing from the Wallabies.
Mowen shocked all in January when he announced he was joining French rugby after the 2014 Super Rugby season instead of leading the Wallabies to the 2015 World Cup.
Mowen on Friday responded to claims by his former Brumbies coach Jake White that he should be overlooked for the June internationals against France.
Rather than disagree with his former mentor, Mowen admitted he was “thinking along the same lines”.
“I don’t think guys who take themselves out of reckoning to be in the World Cup squad this close to it should be taking spots up,” Mowen said.
“You need to really be building a squad and giving guys experience that you are going to use.
“And I’m not going to be there.”
Whether Mowen plays in the three Test series against France will ultimately come down to Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.
McKenzie dumped James Horwill as skipper in favour of Mowen last October – just three months before Mowen announced he had signed with French club Montpellier.
A decision to overlook Mowen for the upcoming internationals will be made easier by the strong form of Melbourne Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham and NSW Waratahs No.8 Wycliff Palu.
However, White – who led the Springboks to 2007 World Cup glory, on Thursday warned against selecting Mowen even if needed.
“If he’s made up his mind that he’d like to go to greener pastures, you’ve got to afford him that,” White said.
“You can’t then expect him to give you 100 per cent if you need him sometimes.
“To be fair, his mind’s not in it.”