Sean McMahon will join Samu Kerevi and Quade Cooper in the Wallabies squad next week as the latest former star to be lured back under the relaxed eligibility laws.
Cooper will play on Sunday against South Africa on the Gold Coast for the first time since 2017, which was also when gun backrower McMahon last wore Wallaby gold.
Now McMahon, still only 27 and regarded as one of the world’s most damaging flankers, could play alongside him and fellow Japanese-based centre Kerevi later this month in the Rugby Championship.
Signed to Suntory Sungoliath until 2023, McMahon was unable to play for the Wallabies under the Giteau Law criteria, which states a player must have 60 Test caps and have given seven years service to be picked while playing overseas.
But those rules have been relaxed partly due to COVID-19, with coach Dave Rennie now able to select two players who don’t meet that criteria.
McMahon had expressed an eagerness to return to the Test fold last year and was close to committing to an Olympic campaign with the rugby sevens side.
Now Rennie has finally come calling, McMahon close to completing his hotel quarantine before joining the squad on the Gold Coast.
He could line up alongside Kerevi – Cooper has played 70 Tests so qualifies under the existing criteria – as soon as next weekend at Suncorp Stadium to face the Springboks.
The Wallabies are also due to play Scotland, England and Wales on their European spring tour in November.