The return of Tom Robertson has come just in time for the NSW Waratahs.
The Dubbo Kangaroos junior is set to make his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury after being named in the Waratahs squad for a two-week Super Rugby trip to South Africa.
The Waratahs are at what coach Daryl Gibson calls a "critical juncture", with a frustrating loss to the Sharks on Saturday night meaning wins over the Bulls and Lions in South Africa are needed if the NSW side wants to remain in the finals hunt.
Robertson, a prop with 24 Test caps to his name, will be welcomed back with his absence notably missed this campaign.
Robertson ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during a Wallabies training session in Argentina in October of last year and hasn't featured since.
Gibson was left exasperated on Saturday night after his side self-destructed in the loss to the Sharks.
Lock Jed Holloway was sent off as his side let the Sharks take control when the score had been at 10-all.
Holloway's potential suspension for striking Thomas du Toit in the head when the Sharks prop held him off the ball, and a number of cruised and battered bodies has also hurt the Waratahs.
However, Robertson's return will provide some real energy while Coonamble product Ned Hanigan is also part of the Tahs squad for the South Africa games.
We've got a two-week tour now and it's very clear what we need to get from that tour.Tahs coach Daryl Gibson
"We're certainly at a critical juncture," Gibson said after the loss.
"The season's thrown a lot at us and it's going to require us showing a great deal of resilience.
"We've got a two-week tour now and it's very clear what we need to get from that tour."
Robertson is no certainty to get straight back into the big minutes, however his return is not just a boost for the Waratahs but also for the Dubbo product's World Cup hopes.
The World Cup is in Japan in September and strong showings for the Tahs and a possible finals run would increase Robertson's chances of retaining his spot.
When back in Dubbo shortly after undergoing surgery on his injured knee last year, Robertson said he hoped to do enough to catch the eye of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika again.
"My first priority is to get back for the Waratahs because looking at our roster we can win the Super Rugby comp next year (2019)," he said.
"That's the first focus but the World Cup, that's the pinnacle and the dream. It's what you play for and to make a World Cup would be unbelievable.
"But at the same time, I've got to play well before I get picked."