Owens was one of 17 players sent in an advance party that arrived in Australia in the early hours of Saturday morning to get ready for the battle between the reigning southern and northern hemisphere champions, which kicks off in Brisbane next Saturday.
The 25-year-old, who understudies club captain Matthew Rees at the Scarlets, started off last season as Wales' fifth choice at hooker.
But injuries to then-Wales captain Rees and Ospreys rival Richard Hibbard opened the door for him to go to the World Cup in New Zealand.
He won his first cap as a replacement against Namibia and his rise has continued since then.
He went to Australia with an unblemished record of five wins in five games for Wales and could well start against the Tri-Nations champions next week.
"It would be a fair assumption to say Ken Owens is our first-choice hooker," said McBryde, himself a former Wales and Lions hooker.
"There isn't a pecking order as such - a lot of things have had an influence on selection in regards to travel and availability.
"But Ken has shown up well throughout the season and was perhaps unlucky not to start more games during the Six Nations. We're hoping for that form to continue.
"It's a very competitive area and things change very quickly in rugby. Competitiveness brings out the edge in people and there's no resting place for anybody in this squad.
"We have three hookers going on the tour and it's going to be hugely competitive. We want to have the same thing in each and every position."
Rees, the British and Irish Lions hooker in South Africa in 2009, was named captain for Wales' match against the Barbarians at the Millennium Stadium but knows he will be in for a battle to retain the number two jersey against the Wallabies next weekend.
As well as the two Scarlets team-mates, McBryde also has the powerful Ospreys RaboDirect PRO12 final-winning hooker Hibbard to call on down under when Wales go in search of their first win over a Tri-Nations side away from home since 1987.
The hooking position has been one of Wales' strengths in recent years, although a series of injuries has forced Warren Gatland and his coaching team to implement a revolving-door selection process for the number two jersey.
Owens is one of five players to have started in the middle of the Welsh front row in the 23 Tests since 2011 began.
Rees was named for his eighth start in that time against the Barbarians, while Lyon-bound Huw Bennett was selected 11 times, the now retired Lloyd Burns twice and Owens and Hibbard once each.
Whoever gets the nod will play between Lions props Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones in a front row that will be seeking to get on top of a Wallabies pack that will be missing skipper James Horwill.
The Queensland Reds lock is one of a number of high-profile players who will miss the series through injury.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is due to name his team on Sunday to play Scotland in Newcastle on Tuesday night with back row man David Pocock the favourite to take over the captain's armband.
That team is likely to comprise players from the Reds and Western Force, who have byes in the Super 15 this weekend.
As well as Horwill, Deans will not be able to call on James O'Connor or Kurtley Beale through injury, while Quade Cooper has only just returned to action after seven months recuperating from the knee injury he sustained against Wales at the World Cup.
Uncapped Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen has also been called in to act as cover for number eight Ben McCalman, who has a shoulder problem.
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