Australia take on Argentina in the final round of The Rugby Championship, in London this Saturday, October 8th. It is the first time the tournament has come to Europe.
An improved Wallabies side will be more physical and intent on taking their chances when they return to Twickenham, according to new No.8 Sean McMahon.
McMahon replaced the injured David Pocock (broken hand) in the back row in June and took his place there again as the Wallabies went down narrowly to the Springboks 18-10 in Pretoria at the weekend.
In a tough year for the Aussies, the shock 3-0 at home defeat against England earlier in the year was followed by two losses against New Zealand. But the Wallabies had halted their losing run with wins against South Africa (23-17) and Argentina (36-20) before the away loss in Pretoria.
“We had a tough series at the start of the season but we’ve never given up,” McMahon said.
“We’ve continued to build and learned from mistakes, and each time we’ve played we’ve been able to work on things and improve.”
“England came over to us and they were the better team physically. They knew what they wanted to do and had that game clarity,” he said about the triumphant early season visitors.
“The great thing we took out of a tight series was that we needed to take our opportunities when we had them. We’re coming back with a typically strong Australian physical team and we’re going to be ready when the chance comes again.”
“The Pumas have proved what a threat they are against us and New Zealand already,” said McMahon as he looked ahead to the Twickenham contest this coming Saturday.
“In Super Rugby the Jaguares have given them the opportunity to build and they are such a big threat because they can attack wide, they’ve got a kicking game and they’ve got a great set piece too. They’re vicious!
“It’ll be good to come up against Facundo Isa who’s another young player who’s building his profile. One of the great things about the game is that there’s always a place for young people to come through.”
With Pocock taking a sabbatical in 2017, McMahon has the chance for a long run at No.8 for Australia after a rapid rise that saw him star as a teenager in the Australia Sevens programme and then develop further with the Rebels.
“My journey through Sevens and Super Rugby has been an exciting one,” he said.
“Being in the Wallabies camp has been a great experience and you get the chance to learn a lot from each other. There’s the experience of David Pocock and Michael Hooper, and then learning from the backs too.
“Carrying the ball, running with the ball are important and I’m also looking at making a contribution at the breakdown and improving my game there and pilfering some more ball.”