Simon Zebo's return to the Ireland squad is no forgone conclusion, according to Andy Farrell, but the recent form the Munster recruit has shown in snatches for Racing 92 could well force the Ireland coach's hand.
Zebo scored his sixth try of the season came in his side's win over Stade Francais at the weekend as Laurent Travers' charges set up a Top-14 semi-final against La Rochelle on Friday night.
The 31-year-old will return to Munster this summer after agreeing a one-year deal co-funded by the IRFU in April, but won't be a part of the Ireland squad to face Japan and the USA next month.
Zebo became Munster's all-time record try-scorer during his first spell at the province from 2010-18, racking up 60 tries in 144 appearances.
"If he keeps on playing like he did against Stade Francais the other week when he came on to that line and passed the ball out of the back of his hands – that's the Zebo of old," Farrell said of the Cork man.
"I suppose he's not very old either.
"He's not been getting much opportunity, a little bit more recently off the bench. He got some game-time at the weekend, I've been watching all of his games.
"He's doing pretty well, he's in a big semi-final at the weekend. Do they get through to the final? Would he miss some time with us, etc?
"There are other guys who deserve a chance to be in our squad that's been playing in and around Ireland over the last season that deserve a look.
"Zeebs will come back to Munster in pre-season, we'll see how hungry he is to start the season well. How good a pre-season he has, how much he settles in as soon as possible.
"He'll be a great option, because his passing game, his left-footed kicking game is exactly where it was."