Robbie Henshaw is refusing to rule out a Lions Test call-up despite being named in the starting line-up for the midweek clash against the Chiefs.
The side which claimed an impressive 32-10 win over NZ Maori on Saturday looks set to be retained in large part for this weekend's opening Test match against the All Blacks in Eden Park, with the remainder of the squad, including Henshaw and Ireland team-mates Rory Best, Jared Payne, CJ Stander and Iain Henderson, set for duty in Hamilton on Tuesday morning.
Henshaw knows he is on the wrong side of that split when it comes to the real business of the tour, but despite that, the Leinster centre knows that injuries or the vagaries of form mean that the door is far from slammed shut on his Test ambitions.
"It's four days from a Test game and you have to look at it realistically," the 24-year-old said of the Chiefs encounter.
"But it's a chance for everyone to put their hand up and potentially get selected for the bench, you don't know, someone could go down in training during the week so you always have to be on your toes.
"Certainly down the line it's an opportunity for players to be in the mix for the second and third tests.
"There's four games left after Tuesday, so there's a lot to go and it's going to be along tour with some sore bodies come the last week. It will be a massive effort and we'll look to use the whole squad."
In addition to facing a Chiefs side that has lost just twice in the Super Rugby season so far, those outside the Test picture also have a key role to play in preparing the leading lights of the tour to face New Zealand, in addition to making their own selection case.
"We need to get the guys who are playing on the weekend prepared as well," Henshaw told RTÉ Sport/
"The guys who play Tuesday will have to put in a good shift during the week in training to help out those guys.
"The coaches have said you have to stay on your toes because you could be picked at the weekend, it's been done before on previous tours, people have played on a Tuesday and been involved in the tests so you can't bank on anything."
The win over the Maori was the Lions most cohesive performance of the tour to date, and while the midweek sides haven't shown the same harmony yet, Henshaw believes that the squad is continuing to develop a strong bond.
"The coaches have said you have to stay on your toes because you could be picked at the weekend"
"There's been different combinations, due to some injuries and other things people haven't been paired ideally," Henshaw said.
"It's been tricky in terms of who's played 10 during the week. I've started with Dan Biggar and played a half with Johnny, but I've only played a couple of minutes with Owen Farrell.
"That's been tricky but there's been good combinations and they've worked out well in terms of how the boys went last weekend. We got a really good performance and the combinations in that side were great, and that just goes to show that we are clicking as a group."
Listen to live commentary of the Lions versus the Chiefs on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, RTÉ.ie or the RTÉ News Now App, as well as live updates online from 8:35am on Tuesday morning.