Waratahs wait on McCalman medical report


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    The NSW Waratahs are waiting for a medical report on Wallabies backrower Ben McCalman’s troublesome right shoulder before finalising negotiations with him ahead of the Super Rugby season.

    The Waratahs expressed interest in McCalman after his Western Force team was axed last September, but he again injured his shoulder in the Wallabies’ record loss to Scotland at Murrayfield last month.

    It was the fourth time in two years that the 29-year-old veteran of 52 Tests has injured the shoulder.

    McCalman, who played only one Super Rugby game for the Western Force last season after fracturing his scapula, had also twice fractured the shoulder blade while playing for the Wallabies last year.

    It is understood McCalman, who did not return calls, is weighing up his options and determining whether he needs another lengthy rehabilitation to heal his shoulder.

    Waratahs chief executive Andrew Hore confirmed on-going interest in the hard-running, tough-tackling McCalman, but was reluctant to discuss the possible signing in any detail.

    “We are interested in Ben McCalman, but we are waiting for a medical report,” was all Hore would say.

    McCalman was one of two high-profile Force players the Waratahs showed interest in following the axing of the franchise.

    They signed Force and Wallabies centre Curtis Rona and were in deep discussions with McCalman whom they had previously tried to recruit.

    A fit McCalman would be a wonderful addition to the Waratahs’ roster, providing depth and flexibility to their forwards stocks in the back five.

    The Waratahs already boast an all-Wallabies backrow in Michael Hooper, Jack Dempsey and Ned Hanigan, but McCalman can play every position in the loose-forwards as well as second row, which would be handy as NSW have lost Test locks Dean Mumm (retired) and Will Skelton (Saracens).

    McCalman, who has played 92 Super Rugby games for the Force and has appeared at two World Cups for the Wallabies since making his provincial and international debuts in 2010, played some of the best rugby of his career at the end of the year.

    After a frustrating, injury-plagued season, he made a rousing comeback in the Wallabies’ win against the Barbarians in Sydney in October and featured in all four Tests on their end of year tour to Japan and Britain, starting at blindside flanker in the Scotland Test.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (19)

    • December 28th 2017 @ 1:20pm
      Cynical Play said | December 28th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

      McCalman to the Tahs !!!!
      Bring it on.
      Jackpot 2.0

    • Roar Guru

      December 28th 2017 @ 2:14pm
      jeznez said | December 28th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

      I didn’t realise he had done the same shoulder again.

      Glad the Tahs are chasing him, looks like both parties are doing the right thing and ensuring he is capable of playing before progressing.

      Fingers crossed, he’d be a great addition to the Tahs squad. Mostly just hope he gets healthy – have my own shoulder issues post playing so have some inkling what he is going through and what he’ll have to deal with down the track. Best of luck to him.

      • December 28th 2017 @ 10:50pm
        ethan said | December 28th 2017 @ 10:50pm | ! Report

        Yes nice to finally hear some news on McCalman’s future. Could be headed for a Japanese pay day if it keeps troubling him, but hopefully comes good and he can stay in Oz. Very unfortunate to re-injure in the final test of the year. If he’d got through that followed by a full pre-season would be singing.

      • December 29th 2017 @ 6:19am
        Rebellion said | December 29th 2017 @ 6:19am | ! Report

        He’d be a very good signing for the Tahs (if fit) and is a country NSW boy – and I’m all for players from the primary rugby nurseries to play for their own state of origin

        I must say though after the diabolical Richard Graham years and series of false starts with prodigal son players, am very content with a complete strip back of dead wood at the Reds and investment in local young talent.
        If only they could get back Magnay, Gill, Browning and McMahon (all players under 25) to bolster the centres and back row that would shore up the spine of the team. There is obviously a lot of pressure on Hamish Stewart to step up at 10 next year and the Reds will need Andrew Ready and the young locks playing to their potential

    • December 29th 2017 @ 5:52am
      P2R2 said | December 29th 2017 @ 5:52am | ! Report

      …will it make any difference to the most under-performing AUS team in SR franchise history…1 SR title…on the back of a Ref error (and he admitted such himself)….

      • December 29th 2017 @ 7:37am
        riddler said | December 29th 2017 @ 7:37am | ! Report

        merry christmas

        • Roar Guru

          December 29th 2017 @ 6:18pm
          Machooka said | December 29th 2017 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

          … and a Happy New Year!


      • December 31st 2017 @ 11:00pm
        double agent said | December 31st 2017 @ 11:00pm | ! Report

        What a ridiculous comment.

    • December 29th 2017 @ 7:36am
      riddler said | December 29th 2017 @ 7:36am | ! Report

      shoulders are like knees.. never are the same after major surgery unless your name is tim horan..

      if his shoulder is gone and am speaking as someone who has had 2 shoulder recon, then the tahs are best avoiding it..

      he is a very solid super player and would have been a good call for the tahs.. but if the injury is what as it appears, chronic, then best to not sign..

      • December 29th 2017 @ 9:01am
        Bakkies said | December 29th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

        Didn’t stop them from offering new deals to Palu.

        • December 30th 2017 @ 7:05pm
          Cliff (Bishkek) said | December 30th 2017 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

          And he was useless – but useless as well before his problems. Most over-rated No. 8 ever to play for Australia. He was a marshmallow.

          • December 31st 2017 @ 11:02pm
            double agent said | December 31st 2017 @ 11:02pm | ! Report

            He was definitely not a marshmellow. Maybe didn’t do as much as we’d like but he wasn’t soft.

            • Roar Guru

              January 4th 2018 @ 7:22pm
              Timbo (L) said | January 4th 2018 @ 7:22pm | ! Report

              Not a marshmallow but still a relic from an era where it was OK to run for 35 minutes and put in a spasmodic effort in.

              The modern game requires a full time commitment when you are on the field, That tends to force players to be lighter and fitter.

              Same apples to Wil Skelton before he was schooled over in Saracens. He is now a much more useful tool with some fitness, agility and 15-20 kg’s lighter.

      • Roar Guru

        January 4th 2018 @ 7:17pm
        Timbo (L) said | January 4th 2018 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

        The classic shoulder injury is dominated by muscles and tendons.
        In MacCalman’s case it is a broken scapula – the Shoulder blade. He has spoken about how it has been injured for so long, his body is treating it as normal and had stopped trying to re-calcify the crack in the bone.

        As to chronic injury this raises a controversial question of workers compensation.

        In a regular job, it is illegal to fire someone (without a massive payout) if they were injured at work and are no longer fit for employment.

        The Rugby “business” has a lot to answer for in the way it treats its employees when it comes to work related injuries..

    • December 29th 2017 @ 9:56am
      Tim Rogers said | December 29th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

      I wish him the best.

    • December 29th 2017 @ 5:36pm
      Tooly said | December 29th 2017 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

      Benny is trying to cement his Wallaby spot with Chekko ! He’s been around long enough for me to know that he is a not very durable provincial player nothing more .

      • December 29th 2017 @ 7:45pm
        Paul D said | December 29th 2017 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

        Who’s achievements, I can say with absolute certainty, dwarf yours.

      • Roar Guru

        January 4th 2018 @ 7:30pm
        Timbo (L) said | January 4th 2018 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

        MacCalman was yet another in a long list of players injured in Cheikko’s 6/8 position. You know, the one Where MacMahon, Pocock, Dempsey, Hanigan, have all had season ending injuries. I wonder what part of his plan is causing this.

        Apart from a broken Thumb, MacCalman is still Recovering from that same, initial injury.

        Each time he was pushed back into service too soon, only to have the same injury flare up.
        Not Durable? More like under pressure to perform whilst injured.

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