Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is so impressed with a batch of rising young Australian backrowers he has not made contact with Sean McMahon, despite the Japan-based flanker expressing his willingness to play Test rugby again.
One week after All Blacks and fellow Suntory star Beauden Barrett revealed both McMahon and Samu Kerevi want to feature at the next World Cup, sources close to McMahon confirmed he is open to a return to the Wallabies fold.
McMahon, who was a dynamic presence at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, hasn’t worn a Wallabies jersey since the 2017 Spring Tour when the 26-Test back rower was arguably the hottest property in Australian rugby.
The Queensland product signed with Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath, however, and was subsequently ruled ineligible for selection under the Giteau Law criteria, which states a player must have 60 Test caps, and have given seven years service, to be eligible for Wallabies selection while based overseas.
Rugby Australia announced a tweak to the Giteau Law last year in which Rennie can pick two players from abroad that are under the 60-Test threshhold.
Despite having those slots at his disposal, an RA spokesperson told the Herald no contact has been made with McMahon. It is unclear to what extent Rennie factored in McMahon’s availability in his backrow plans for the winter.
McMahon’s management said the flanker has now planned holidays instead.
Rennie is on record stating his preference to pick players that aren’t based in Australia and the case of McMahon appears to be no exception.
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