Wales caretaker head coach Rob Howley remains hopeful Warren Gatland will be able to join the squad at some stage of their three-Test tour of Australia.
Head coach Gatland is recovering from the serious heel injuries he suffered in a fall at his holiday home in New Zealand in April, and Howley will take charge for the summer fixtures against the Barbarians and the Wallabies while he recuperates.
That means the Kiwi, who has guided Wales to two RBS 6 Nations Grand Slams during his tenure, will have to sit and watch as Wales go looking for a first Test win over Australia Down Under since 1969.
But Howley says there is still a chance Gatland will be able to join Wales during the latter stages of the series.
He said: "He (Gatland) is fine, I spoke to him last week, he was in good heart and he was laughing and joking on the phone so he must be doing something right.
"We are still hopeful we will see him in the Test series at some stage, and knowing Warren as we do he will do everything possible to try and get over there.
"But it has to be gauged by the situation with his heel, I don't think he is getting around too cleverly at the moment.
"It's getting better, time is a healer and I am sure over the next couple of weeks it will become clearer if he is able to make it or not."
Wales have not beaten the Wallabies since their success in Cardiff in 2008, and lost to Robbie Deans' side in the bronze medal match at the Rugby World Cup and in the December Test at the Millennium Stadium.
But Howley and his squad have made it clear that nothing less than a series win will do as they look to lay down a marker against the southern hemisphere superpowers.
Australia have been boosted by the return to action of fly-half Quade Cooper, who suffered a serious knee injury in that World Cup meeting, but they will be without the services of utility back James O'Connor, who is ruled out by a lacerated liver.
But Howley does not see O'Connor's absence as a positive for Wales, as the tourists want to take on and beat the best Australia has to offer.
He said: "It is great to see Quade Cooper back playing, it's maybe too early to say whether he will be involved in selection for our game, we hope so.
"But we are disappointed that James O'Connor is out.
"When you play any side you want their best players on the park, when you play the All Blacks you want Dan Carter playing.
"It adds spice having played against them twice over the last year.
"They have hugely talented backs, they have world class players.
"They play the game at speed and with intensity and it will be interesting to see what happens as this is the first time for them playing (Test rugby) in the Super 15 schedule, and they play Scotland on the Tuesday before our first game."
Howley also confirmed that fitness doubts Matthew Rees, Scott Williams and Jon Davies are all progressing well and will undergo a rigorous contact session towards the end of the week.
The majority of the squad met up on Monday, aside from the Ospreys contingent who are preparing for Sunday's RaboDirect Pro12 final against European champions Leinster.