Rebels and Wallabies backrower Sean McMahon has been ruled out of the June Test series and could miss up to eight weeks, but coach Tony McGahan says his Super Rugby understudy could step into that void.
McMahon went off in the 74th minute on Saturday night, holding his arm in his jersey, after twisting his arm in an awkward tackle attempt, and headed straight to hospital.
“It’s a dislocated wrist, at this stage. There could be a break in there,” he said on Saturday night.
The Rebels announced on Sunday that McMahon had to undergo a procedure to put his dislocated wrist back in place and that he would miss between six and eight weeks, luckily there was no sign of a break.
The injury means that McMahon will miss the June Series and have to prove his fitness to be considered for the opening Bledisloe Cup encounter in Sydney on August 19.
The 22-year-old was in just his third game back from ankle surgery and a compounding knee injury that curtailed the start of his year.
With David Pocock on sabbatical and just two weeks until the June Series, it had seemed McMahon was timing his run to form perfectly, before the unlucky turn of events.
It’s a scene the Rebels have become all too familiar with this season, McGahan said, though McMahon’s injury would surely hurt more than most.
“It’s tough to see any player down regardless of where you’re at,” he said.
“Unfortunately this year we’re seeing lots of guys down.
“I think we’re oscillating between 17-23 (injuries) every week.
Colby Faingaa has stepped up in McMahon’s absence through the season, and was one of the side’s best again in tandem with his backrow partners.
Faingaa’s behind-the-back pass off a lineout set up the Rebels’ most spectacular try of the night for Marika Koroibete and McGahan said skills like that showed he wouldn’t be out of his depth in a gold jersey.
“He’s been one of our most consistent players, not only on the field but probably one of our most consistent off the field as well.
“His behaviours around the playing group, his own personal preparation and how he goes about his business has been excellent from day one.
“We have had and we continue to have some pretty great players in the backrow and especially around that seven position.
“I know he’s held in great esteem at the Brumbies as well.
“I’d be delighted for him to get a look in.”
Lopeti Timani also lost a crucial chance to push his Wallabies credentials in a stop-start season ruled out before the game with a concussion suffered in training on Thursday.
McGahan was optimistic that the backrower would be right for their final pre-June match against the Brumbies, but given the team’s luck with casualties this year, wasn’t keen on tempting fate.
The Rebels travel to Canberra this week to take on the Brumbies on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.