Sean McMahon keeping incumbent duo honest

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia’s plenitude of top-flight openside flankers is getting ridiculous.

Ask anyone - even Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

The Wallabies rested their two top sevens in Michael Hooper and David Pocock, for Australia’s match against Uruguay but it mattered little as next in line Sean McMahon turned in a man of the match performance.

So dominant are the incumbent pair that Pocock has been switched to number eight so both can start and won the man of the match award playing there against Fiji.

In the absence of “Pooper”, McMahon impressed with two tries on World Cup debut at Birmingham’s Villa Park.

Melbourne Rebels breakaway Sean McMahon scored two tries and made nine tackles on World Cup debut.

Speaking after the Wallabies 65-3 win over Uruguay, Cheika said the strength Australia has in that position was almost unbelievable.

“It’s getting pretty ridiculous, really, because every man of the match is seven or eight. 

“I think Sean McMahon, his selection initially was for a certain reason and he’s certainly bringing that. 

“He needs to fill in his role within the team and the if he gets his opportunity to play for Australia, he needs to cherish that because not everyone gets that chance and he certainly did today.”

Michael Hooper and David Pocock were rested from the Uruguay match. Photo: Getty Images

He might have to wait a while for another crack, sitting behind the two aforementioned flankers, Cheika said the youngster was keeping the incumbents on their toes.

“I know we have got some pretty influential players in those positions but as long as he’s there rattling their cage, that’ll keep them honest and that’ll keep him honest as well, " he said.

“I was very pleased  with his performance because he knows those guys are there and he’s just got to keep taking the time.”

As for McMahon, he was nothing short of ecstatic after his debut performance, jubilant at getting a big win.

“The performance that the boys put on out there was unbelievable,” he said.

“A few meaties as well, I couldn’t be more happy.”

The 21-year-old said he wasn’t worried about biding his time behind Pocock and Hooper.

“They are two unbelievable players and I’m just working my way to try and eventually maybe get a spot there.”