Lawrence Dallaglio has predicted a few dark horses will be included in the British & Irish Lions squad to play New Zealand - and the former England captain remains hopeful he might just be one of them.
Lions coach Sir Clive Woodward finalises his 44-man playing squad on April 11 and all the speculation in the build-up to the announcement has surrounded Jonny Wilkinson's fitness and whether retired internationals like Dallaglio and Neil Back will be included.
Dallaglio believes he is playing as well as ever for Wasps and would relish the chance of a third Lions tour, but he feels the headlines could be grabbed by a few outsiders making the final cut.
''Selection is a key area for the Lions and if you have that right from the start, the quality will come through," said Dallaglio, who went on to tip Sale scrum-half Bryan Redpath for a surprise call-up.
''What I have learned from most Lions tours is that there will always be a few surprise selections.
''Will Greenwood was uncapped when he was selected in 1997. John Bentley came out of nowhere to make the side.
"The selectors have vast experience and I am sure they will be casting their net far and wide. On past tours they have selected capped, uncapped and retired players.
''I wouldn't rule out Bryan Redpath going on tour. He has the quality and experience to come through.
''Having spoken to Clive a long time ago, foremost in his mind will be to pick the strongest available team.
''The management team of the Lions has a lot of experience. Andy Robinson has played on a Lions tour, Clive Woodward has played on a Lions tour and Ian McGeechan has won a Lions tour.
''The Lions is so unique. It has no history and no future, it's about the seven weeks you are there. New Zealand is not for the faint-hearted. It is the hardest country for any Lions tour.''
Redpath holds out little hope of receiving a call from Woodward, but Dallaglio is waiting expectantly for the phone call.
''When I retired from international rugby I recognised you take yourself out of the shop window for a tour like the Lions,'' he said.
''Predominantly the squad will be chosen from the Six Nations. But if the management feel they need to look elsewhere - then there are other options.
''I don't have to shout from the roof-tops about playing for the Lions. For any player selected it is the pinnacle of their career.''
Henry Slade admits he could not watch his England team-mates celebrate their RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam triumph after suffering injury heartbreak, but now has the Red Rose's summer tour to Australia in his sights.