The Brumbies are set for a huge boost ahead of their Super Rugby Pacific semi-final against the ladder-topping Blues on Saturday with powerhouse flanker Rob Valetini almost certain to return.
However they'll likely have to seek victory at the most daunting of venues, Auckland's Eden Park, without gun centre Len Ikitau as he faces suspension after a red card for a high shot in Saturday night's 35-25 home quarter-final win over the Hurricanes.
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Coach Dan McKellar revealed Valetini shone in training after being ruled out of that match, clearing the path for his return to the side for this week's must-win clash.
"He was probably one of our best trainers on Thursday, which disappointed me but excited me at the same point in time," McKellar said.
"Honestly, with a hamstring, (you wonder) does he hold himself back … but he was good."
McKellar said the Brumbies would consider challenging any ban for Ikitau.
"We'll have a good look at the incident … you're shattered for him, like most blokes that get red cards," he said. "It's disappointing, but we'll see what strategy we take."
Seeking their first Super Rugby title since 2004, the Brumbies will head to Eden Park to take on a star-studded Blues team on a 13-match winning streak.
The two sides met in the final round of the regular season when a largely second-string Blues outfit snatched a 21-19 win in Canberra with a last-gasp drop goal by Beauden Barrett.
McKellar said confidence was high in the Brumbies camp.
"We've been here before … we had to go to Argentina a couple of years ago and play a semi over there, we go to Auckland really confident," he told reporters.
"We felt we should have won that game a couple of weeks ago, there's an enormous amount of respect for them.
"They've got threats across the park, we feel we've got the game that can challenge them and we'll prepare for that."
Captain Allan Alaalatoa said they headed to the semis believing they could achieve success.
"There's a huge amount of belief, and (Saturday's) win adds to that," he told reporters.
"Probably a sold-out Eden Park, I mean that atmosphere is going to be unbelievable.
"That connection and belief starts now and we'll continue to build that up throughout the week."
The Blues reeled off five straight tries to beat the Highlanders 35-6 on Saturday afternoon