McMahon ready for Wallabies: Rebels coach

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    He has only played 40 minutes of rugby this season but Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan says Sean McMahon will be ready for the Wallabies’ June Tests.

    The 22-year-old made his long-awaited return to AAMI Park after finally overcoming ankle surgery followed by a knee injury.

    He came off the bench at blindside flanker for the Rebels’ second half with his leg drive pumping up his team for a late surge.

    They ultimately fell short 29-24 when Reds skipper Samu Kerevi scored a last-ditch try, but McMahon played with his usual aggression and tenacity.

    “He was great,” McGahan said of his back rower.

    “He’s an important player for us with what he brings with effort and attitude, he’s a real fierce competitor.

    “He was absolutely busted in the last seven or eight minutes but to get through 40 minutes after being out for seven months was a fair effort.”

    The coach added McMahon would be ready for the three June Tests, when Australia take on Fiji, Scotland and Italy.

    “He’ll be fine,” McGahan said.

    The Rebels have only managed one win this season and while injuries have contributed to their poor run, they have also turned in some shockers.

    While he plumped for McMahon, the coach thought the results would count against the Rebels at the selection table, who had a club-record six players winning Test caps last year.

    Hooker James Hanson, lock Lopeti Timani, prop Toby Smith and centre Sefa Naivalu could all miss out this season.

    “I’ve got absolutely no doubt,” said McGahan, a former Wallabies assistant coach.

    “That’s a proven fact, that individuals can still do all their things but sometimes you suffer at the fate of your team and their performances.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (25)

    • May 14th 2017 @ 1:02pm
      Harry said | May 14th 2017 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

      I appreciate he’s trying to be helpful to his players, but none of them are going well. Actually thought McMahon was well below his best last night in his half game and even in our dismal year, below international standard. Still he will be better for the run, lets see how he goes against the Tahs next week.

    • May 14th 2017 @ 3:22pm
      DaveR said | May 14th 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

      This silly comment exposes the lack of wisdom and understading of McGahan. To say McMahon would be ready for the Wallabies (in June) based on his 40min cameo after 7 months out is ridiculous. If he can play every game between now and June without injury and he finds form – he might be considered for the 7 position over those other players in the local conference in good form. But at the moment he is way behind 3 or 4 players.

    • May 14th 2017 @ 3:28pm
      Paul said | May 14th 2017 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

      So he’s not ready to play 80 mins but he is ready for the Wallabies.

      Ok…….

      • Roar Guru

        May 14th 2017 @ 7:26pm
        Timbo (L) said | May 14th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

        Read McGahns words carefully and ignore the misleading title of this article.
        It says he will be ready
        It doesn’t say he is ready, nor will be selected.

        But I agree, a player injured for so long needs to prove his worth with current form before he gets a gold jersey

        ARE YOU LISTENING TO THIS CHEIKA!

    • May 14th 2017 @ 5:06pm
      Nate said | May 14th 2017 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

      1 Sio
      2 TPN
      3 Kepu
      4 Skelton
      5 Coleman
      6 Timani
      7 Hooper
      8 Higginbotham (c)
      9 Genia (vc)
      10 Cooper
      11 Speight
      12 Kerevi
      13 Kurindrani
      14 Folau
      15 Hunt

      16 Latu 55′ TPN
      17 Alaalatoa 60′ Kepu
      18 Robertson 55′ Sio
      19 Arnold 55′ Skelton
      20 McMahon 55′ Timani
      21 Gordon 55′ Genia
      22 Foley (vc) 55′ Cooper
      23 Beale 55′ Kerevi

      24 Hanson
      25 Tupou
      26 Carter
      27 Holloway
      28 Louwrens
      29 Hodge
      30 Naivalu
      31 DHP

      • May 14th 2017 @ 8:05pm
        Sportscrazy said | May 14th 2017 @ 8:05pm | ! Report

        Skelton…. is this Cheika under the guise of Nat. Boof Skelton was, is and never will be Wallaby material. The same goes for Mumm (surprised he’s not in the list). Rory Arnold or his brother with Coleman.

        Kerevi has poor passing skills. Keep him at 13 and no closer.

        Would have Hunt 12 for the June tests verse Italy and Fiji.

        DHP no 15 with Hodge on wing

        Beale to go back and start at club footy to prove himself. Players of same skill but more loyalty available.

        Grudgingly Genia cause the alternatives are 2nd rate.

        Cooper worries me greatly. Foley is no better. Is DHP an option. As Larkam was plucked from 15 to 10 with great success… is this an option?

    • Roar Guru

      May 14th 2017 @ 5:22pm
      Cadfael said | May 14th 2017 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

      I would only play Genia if he comes back to the Reds otherwise no. Agree with your back row. On form, Foley to start before Cooper but I do feel if a player is selected in a position, he plays there in both attack and defence.

      • May 14th 2017 @ 6:01pm
        Train Without A Station said | May 14th 2017 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

        So select neither then?

    • May 14th 2017 @ 5:55pm
      DaveR said | May 14th 2017 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

      Nate,
      pretty much agree with your picks today, but we have a while to go before the internationals are upon us.

      Here are my rules for picking Wallabies:

      1. Must have played and excelled in one specialised position all SR season;
      2. Must have played all (most) SR rounds, ie no significant injuries;
      3. Can only be picked in their specialised position;

      Of course, I would accept similar qualifications from someone playing in the northern hemisphere, but only if they continue to play the intensity of rugby from the completion of the NH competitions (finished last weekend) up until the tests.

      I wonder how many Wallabies will meet these criteria?

      • Roar Guru

        May 14th 2017 @ 5:57pm
        Fionn said | May 14th 2017 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

        Does that mean Izzy wouldn’t make your team rather than playing on the wing? Who is 12?

        • May 14th 2017 @ 8:33pm
          DaveR said | May 14th 2017 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

          Fionn, how many games at each position has he played for the Waratahs for the 12 rounds so far this season?

          • Roar Guru

            May 14th 2017 @ 8:43pm
            Fionn said | May 14th 2017 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

            I basically agree, Dave, he probably wouldn’t make my 15 currently, maybe not even my 23.

            Who do you play at 12?

            • May 15th 2017 @ 7:39am
              sittingbison said | May 15th 2017 @ 7:39am | ! Report

              Billy Meakes

        • May 15th 2017 @ 1:36pm
          MitchO said | May 15th 2017 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

          Agree with Bison. I like Meakes for 12. He may not be flashy but he is the inside centre we wanted Godwin to be. Plugs a big hole in the midfield. Adds some toughness and some very good second phase.

          Kerevi is one of our best attacking centres but good defense is absolutely critical which is why I still like Kuridrani. He lacks attack but I think he is back doing his thing. If Nathan Grey can teach Kerevi to defend at 13 then that will be good. He is such an attacking threat you’d hate to leave him out.

          I know Coleman has been injured much of the season but if he stays healthy then he is required. Arnold from ACT is another. The second row should be him and Coleman. I reckon Carter has earned this spot in the 23. He is a bit of a Simmons but has shown good leadership for mine and marshalls the ACT pack quite well.
          Fardy is not dead or overseas yet so he has to remain in the reckoning.
          One good thing the Force have shown this year is that is great to have such a tall lineout. Coleman and Arnold in the Second Row with RHP at blindside. I reckon RHP needs to be called into the Wallaby squad. Not so the 23 yet but they need to get him in there just in case he is a true Fardy replacement.

          • May 15th 2017 @ 4:44pm
            DaveR said | May 15th 2017 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

            MitchO, Fionn,
            Higginbothan in devastating form last Sat, hard to understand how he was passed over for the Wallabies so many times in the last few years. A strong roving No8.

            • May 15th 2017 @ 6:41pm
              MitchO said | May 15th 2017 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

              DaveR I am okay with Higgers getting another shot. No one number 8 has put their hand up. I am sure a few of us are disappointed that Timani hasn’t been able to play there this season. I think Hardwick (Force) and McMahon are both a bit small for number 8 but then McMahon may end up at 6 pretty soon.

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2017 @ 7:14pm
                Timbo (L) said | May 15th 2017 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

                MitchO,
                Many have become confused as to what A Wallaby 8 looks like. Because most of the time, Hoops is off picking up daisies and open field stats, Chieka needs a 7/8 to pick up the slack, Someone to run the ball from the base as well as doing the Number 7 Duties.

                Higgers is a traditional full service 8 but probably won’t fit in his Michael Blooper game plan because he doesn’t have the speed and agility needed in the vacant 7 duties.

                Hardwick is a 7 shadowing Hodgeson. He is a team player and fills in the back row wherever he is needed. He isn’t the ball runner Cheika needs

                Is Naisarani eligible? I know Mafi isn’t.

                Smith/Alcock-Higgers-Fardy with Ross Haylett Petty doing the utility 5/6 off the bench would get my vote. I don’t think Tui is eligable.

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2017 @ 7:18pm
                Fionn said | May 15th 2017 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

                Apparently McMahon is about to sign with Japan anyway.

              • May 16th 2017 @ 8:45am
                Browny said | May 16th 2017 @ 8:45am | ! Report

                Fionn, if that’s the case you can thank Pulver and Clyne for that. The thought that we could lose one of the most promising youngsters in some time – Aus SR player of the year 2016 at age 22 – due to the ineptitude of the ARU board really hurts.

                I’m expecting to see quite a few announced departures from all 5 clubs in the next month or so before the European transfer window concludes. Obviously the insecurity at the Force and Rebels would be monstrous for anyone who isn’t a Wallaby but also any young fringe players at the other ‘safe’ clubs who might lose their spot to a someone from the team that is cut. There’s going to be 20% less permanent contracts up for grabs once the whole thing rolls over that means players from all clubs will be cut. Teams might opt to take ready made players to drop in at the expense of younger guys with potential to be great in a couple of years. The safe option might be to go overseas and forgo any possibility of higher honours and just play out a career in the UK/France/Japan on a decent and stable wicket.

              • Roar Guru

                May 16th 2017 @ 2:51pm
                Fionn said | May 16th 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

                According to Wayne Smith at the Australian: ’It is understood McMahon had been disenchanted with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who handed him his Test debut against Wales on the 2014 spring tour. Although Cheika raves about McMahon’s ferocity in training, hailing him as a model for the physicality he wants in the Wallabies, he has started McMahon in only 10 of the 31 Tests of which he has been in charge of the Australian team.’

                I agree, though, that I doubt McMahon is feeling particularly supported by the ARU, and is probably doubting how supportive he should be of Australian rugby. If he leaves it will be a sad, sad day.

      • Roar Guru

        May 15th 2017 @ 6:42pm
        Timbo (L) said | May 15th 2017 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

        DaveR,

        I like your selection spirit but I some of your stipulations are a little oppressive.

        Look at Reece Hodge, He established himself as a Wallaby 12 but he is currently playing fullback because that is what his team needs him to do. Should he be overlooked because he is a utility and a team player?

        Same with Ross Haylett-Petty, he has been playing 4 or 5 for the last month or so because the Force has lost 3 of their locks. Great in the line out and in the rucks and mauls but not a world class lock. But certainly better than Mumm as a 5/6 utility .

        I do agree, though, all players should have established credentials playing in the position they are selected for gold.
        For me they need to be in form and proven themselves after injury.

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