Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


McMeniman up for physical battle

12th June 2013 13:17


Hugh McMeniman for Western Force

Presence: Hugh McMeniman

Australia forward Hugh McMeniman has stated that the Wallaby pack will not be daunted by the British and Irish Lions' physical forwards.

McMeniman was one of six players added to the Australian squad this week and with big forwards such as Sitaleki Timani and Scott Higginbotham ruled out of the upcoming Test series against the Lions, the suggestion would be that the Wallabies may struggle up front.

However McMeniman has cited the Australian forwards' experience of taking on the All Blacks and Springboks at Test level and in Super Rugby, stating that Australia will be more than ready to handle the Lions in the three-Test series.

''I think it suits most of the forwards over here. We're ready for a physical test," said McMeniman to the Brisbane Times.

"They definitely bring that. There are some big boys in the forwards and backs, but we train for that.

''The boys have been playing against New Zealand and South African opponents as well, so I think they'll be just fine.'

''Fitness-wise, my shoulder and body feel good, but it's exciting ... good to be around the boys.''

McMeniman returned to Super Rugby with the Western Force after a stint in Japan, admitting that watching lock James Horwill lead the Reds to their first Super Rugby title in 2011 had spurred him on to return to Australia.

''Watching big Jim and the Reds win the Super Rugby championship sparked a bit of interest in me and then the opportunity back at the Force," added McMeniman.

Horwill, who will captain the Wallabies against the Lions, stated that the return of McMeniman had been a welcome addition to the squad.

''I think his time in Japan has revitalised him,'' said Horwill.

''It's good to see a guy who has so much raw talent come back and be able to get back into the Wallabies squad. He has worked extremely hard to get here.''