Cheika hails ‘outstanding’ McMahon

Date published: November 2 2014

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Wallabies coach Michael Cheika picked out 20-year-old Sean McMahon for special praise after his input off the bench at Twickenham.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika picked out 20-year-old Sean McMahon for special praise after his input off the bench at Twickenham.

The young flanker was endlessly dynamic throughout his time on the field, after coming on as a replacement early on for Scott Higginbotham.

Showing real speed and running defence-splitting lines, McMahon thrust himself into contention for the Test against Wales next weekend in Cardiff.

“I thought he was outstanding,” Cheika said of McMahon.

“At the John Eales Medal the other night he was doing his fitness work by going back up to the podium to collect awards.

“He got on the field and took his opportunity with both hands. With the injury to Scott Higginbotham there’s a place in the back row open for the Test next week and he’s definitely put himself right up there.”

Cheika admitted there was plenty to work on going forward, with the new coach not getting an easy ride in his first game in charge.

Wales will obviously play a more physical game against the Wallabies next week, but the former Leinster boss is ready.

“Wales will lift the physicality and aggression side of things considerably,” added Cheika.

“That’s when the real physical business will start in earnest, and the guys know that.

“We know how tough that will be, so being pushed so close by the Barbarians might be a good thing.

“Warren Gatland has done a great job as (Wales) coach and we know they love a battle and get involved in the tough stuff. The hits will be harder and more physical so we must be prepared for it.”

“It must have been very entertaining to watch, though I was hoping for a bit of an easier time in my seat.

“We needed to start the tour well but I was hoping not to have to get out of my seat during the game. Sadly, I did a few times!

“There were good and bad things, and plenty to work on.”

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