Super Rugby round seven
McMeniman ready for Wallabies
March 31, 2013
Hugh McMeniman produced a damaging performance against New South Wales © Getty Images
Hugh McMeniman is poised to cap his comeback to Australian rugby with Wallabies selection against the British & Irish Lions, Western Force coach Michael Foley believes.
McMeniman has made a huge impact at the Force since he returned to Australia after three years in Japan, and he was superb again in his side's 23-19 Super Rugby loss to New South Wales Waratahs in Sydney. "He's massive," Foley said. "I thought he was the best player on the field today. Apparently he got Man of the Match, and I thought that's pretty fair." McMeniman, 29, threw his two-metre frame into everything against the Tahs, but Foley said he'd been doing that all season for the Force.
"Look, he has the nickname 'Madness' for a good reason," he said. "He pretty much goes hard. The difference between what he was like before he went to Japan and now is he's just adopted all the little things around his preparation that makes him incredibly professional. He's a really good example amongst the squad - very humble, very quiet, ticks all the boxes during the week - and then just rips in like that. With guys like Hughie and Hodgso [captain Matt Hodgson] setting examples, there's a lot of growth with the young guys. You can see where the team's going to go."
Foley is convinced McMeniman is heading back to the Wallabies to add to the 21 Tests he played as a Queensland Reds lock before heading to Japan in 2009.
"He's just got to keep knocking out what he's doing and I think he'll be recognised," Foley said. "He was pretty outstanding out there today against a Wallaby pack. But he's got to keep playing well because there's going to be a lot of competition. Obviously with the Lions coming around so rarely, guys are going to accelerate through the back end of the competition to try and chase those spots."
Western Force dominated the game everywhere bar the scoreboard (video available only in Australia)