Wales v Australia
Sean McMahon named to make Wallabies debut
ESPN Staff
November 6, 2014
Sean McMahon is set to make his Test debut © Getty Images

Sean McMahon will make his Test debut for Australia against Wales at Millennium Stadium on Saturday, replacing injured Scott Fardy in the No.6 jumper. The Melbourne Rebels flanker is one of two changes in the back-row, alongside Ben McCalman, who replaces the injured Scott Higginbotham, as Michael Cheika otherwise maintains the starting side that lost to New Zealand by one point in the last minute at Suncorp Stadium three weeks ago.

McMahon's selection caps a remarkable year for the 20-year-old, who was previously named Australian Super Rugby Rookie of the Year, NRC Player of the Year and Australian Under-20s Player of the Year.

"Going into the Barbarians match, it was made clear that players had an opportunity to push their way into the Test team with a strong performance," Cheika said. "Sean made the most of his opportunity and brought great work-rate and physicality to our game. This selection also recognises the outstanding year he has had at all levels of the game, and he thoroughly deserves the chance to debut for Australia."

McMahon is one of two uncapped players chosen in the team, with Western Force prop Tetera Faulkner earning a spot on an extended nine-man bench. Faulkner, 26, is a former Australian Schoolboys, Under-19 and Under-20 player who has played 29 Super Rugby matches caps since debuting for Western Force in 2011.

Cheika, otherwise, named an extended bench including hooker James Hanson, prop Ben Alexander, locks James Horwill and Will Skelton, back-rower Matt Hodgson, scrum-half Will Genia, fly-half Quade Cooper, and winger Rob Horne. One player will be omitted from the bench in the lead-up to game day.

"I've been really pleased with attitude and commitment of the team and by how they have embraced a new environment and way of doing things," Cheika said. "Everyone has worked really hard on preparing themselves in the best possible way, and we're all excited about the opportunity to represent Australia and give our absolute best on Saturday."

Wallabies: Israel Folau; Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali'ifano, Joe Tomane; Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps; Ben McCalman, Michael Hooper (captain), Sean McMahon; Rob Simmons, Sam Carter; Sekope Kepu, Saia Fainga'a, James Slipper. Replacements: James Hanson, Tetera Faulkner, Ben Alexander, James Horwill, Will Skelton, Matt Hodgson, Will Genia, Quade Cooper, Rob Horne.

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