Benji Marshall was almost a Waratah, and NSW coach Michael Cheika is convinced he would have had another successful NRL convert on his books had the five-eighth signed.
Not that Cheika has time to reflect on what might have been.
He already has Wallabies stars Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley vying for the Tahs' No.10 jersey in Friday night's Super Rugby trial against Marshall's Auckland Blues at Allianz Stadium.
Cheika said Marshall impressed him with his rugby smarts when they met in 2013, but admitted it was logical for the New Zealand league international to link with the Blues instead of following in the footsteps of Israel Folau.
Despite his fame and NRL achievements, there's been no shortage of critics willing to write off Marshall's chances of successfully moving from the No.6 of league to the No.10 of rugby.
Cheika admits Marshall's debut at five-eighth is attempting a code switch with a high degree of difficulty.
"Ultimately, it's a very difficult position to play for a newcomer to the code," Cheika said.
"But he's a smart guy. From the times I've spoken to him about rugby he knows what's going on, so I've got no doubt he's going to make the switch over to play No.10 pretty easy and be a threat to defences just like he was in rugby league.
"We spoke to him about (coming to the Waratahs). You'd be mad not to. But the reality is the chap's a Kiwi through and through ... it's quite logical he's playing where he's playing."
There are plenty of sliding doors about the playmaking match-up on Friday.
Marshall jetted off to Auckland, allowing Beale to head back to Sydney.
And instead of using Beale's recruitment as a catalyst to accept an offer from the Melbourne Rebels, Foley accepted the challenge to remain at the Waratahs and fight for the No.10 jersey.
Foley has been given a big chance to start at five-eighth against the Blues, with Beale at fullback and Folau to come off the bench and play the second half in what will be his first hit-out for the year.
"You want to take it with both hands. Friday night is the first step to putting my foot forward and trying to cement that spot," Foley said. "(Kurtley) is a wonderful player ... to have him breathing down my back is a great challenge for myself. It's the reason why you play competitive sport." Foley is hoping he and Beale aren't engaged in an all-out battle and that there might be scope for both of them to start in round one, but that's unlikely with Folau set to play in his best position of fullback. Cheika said the winner of the Foley and Beale five-eighth duel would also assume the goal-kicking responsibility.
Waratahs run-on team: Kurtley Beale, Matthew Carraro, Rob Horne, Jono Lance, Peter Betham, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Pat McCutcheon, Dave Dennis (capt), Will Skelton, Kane Douglas, Paddy Ryan, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Reserves include: Israel Folau, Michael Hooper, Adam Ashley-Cooper.