Wallabies debutant Nick Frost is ready to embrace greater responsibility in the deciding Test against England as the second-row stocks continue to take a hit.
Frost became Wallaby 953 when he came off the bench during the eight-point defeat against England, replacing injured Brumbies teammate Cadeyrn Neville.
Neville remains in doubt for the third Test at the SCG on July 16 after appearing to suffer an MCL injury after an awkward cleanout.
He joins Darcy Swain (suspension) and Izack Rodda (foot) on the sidelines, with Waratahs duo Jed Holloway (calf) and Ned Hanigan (knee) on the mend after picking up injuries in training.
With Lukhan Salakaia-Loto called into the squad as injury cover, Frost is prepared to step up into the starting side if called upon as he returns home to Sydney.
“I’m not sure yet, we’ll have to wait on the medicos and see what they say,” he told reporters on a potential start.
“I just enjoy playing and happy to get experience tonight to run around. At the end of the day, it’s why you want to play. I just love playing footy.
“Whatever happens, happens but if I get that opportunity it’ll be good fun, especially in a decider Test.
“There wasn’t too many nerves (when Frost debuted). I was trying to treat it like any other Rugby game. It was good fun. Slightly quicker pace than Super Rugby but it’s pretty similar at times with a lot of our guys playing with or against.
“I didn’t know what to expect from England but they fronted up pretty physically but it was an enjoyable experience.”
Out of the original 35-player squad, just four available players - Lachlan Lonergan, Suliasi Vunivalu, Harry Wilson and Tate McDermott - have yet to be used, with Vunivalu and Wilson the most likely pushing for selection after injuries to Izaia Perese, Jordan Petaia and Scott Sio.
However, veteran prop James Slipper believes their growing depth has them perfectly placed to deal with the growing toll as they look to claim the Ella-Mobbs Cup.
“It’s obviously a test but I’ve been pretty proud of everyone that has come into the jersey,” Slipper believes.
“Nick (Frost) did a wonderful job today off the bench. One thing I know is we have a lot of depth in the squad. They’re not there to make up the numbers, they’re there on merit and really challenging for those spots.”