Rebels' back row bruisers to pressure Waratahs

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

It's taken 13 rounds but Tony McGahan finally has his first choice back row on deck for tomorrow's clash with the Waratahs.

After extended injury layoffs, Sean McMahon and Lopeti Timani will pack down with Amanaki Mafi.

On paper, that is arguably Australia's most intimidating back row.

McGahan hopes the trio will be just as intimidating at the breakdown tomorrow afternoon.

"Everyone has been really keen to see those guys play together," McGahan said.Sean McMahon will start for the first time this season. Photo: Getty Images"Their teammates are really excited, the coaching staff is really excited to see them play.

"It's just unfortunate it has taken us so long to get the three of them on the field at once.

"Hopefully we won't be lacking the grunt work or physicality that those players can bring."

Another exciting inclusion is young outside back Jack Maddocks, who made his return from a shoulder injury off the bench against the Rebels.

He has been picked on the right wing in place of the injured Sefa Naivalu.Harrison Goddard will head to Georgia with the Australian U20s.Injuries have devastated Melbourne's squad this year and the likes of Maddocks and halfback Harrison Goddard won't be able to provide cover when the Australian U20s set sail for Georgia at the end of the month.

"It's fantastic for Jack," McGahan said.

"We have big hopes for him and he had a great preseason.

"Started round one and went really well and we were really hoping for him to get some game time and kick on.

"As far as we know, all the U20s guys are required to fulfil their commitments at this stage.

"We have three in our 23 this week.

"If we lose three, we have to go digging around club rugby again - so we will have to wait and see where Tom English and Sefa land next week."