Cape Town - The
Wallabies were dealt a blow when it was confirmed that back-row Sean
McMahon has been ruled out of next weekend's Rugby Championship clash
McMahon was sent home after suffering an ankle injury in Australia's
18-10 defeat to South Africa at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.
The 22-year-old had scans after the Test and the early diagnosis is
syndesmosis, or a high ankle sprain, which could sideline him for up to a
"They can vary in degree," Wallabies defence coach Nathan Grey told AAP.
"I think he'll get home and get confirmation of what the depth and length of time he'll be out.
"It's disappointing for Seany after a really good input to the game."
The injury will send Wallabies head Michael Cheika back to the
drawing board for another solution at number eight, with McMahon having
been brought in to replace David Pocock who is sidelined with abroken
Test newcomer Lopeti Timani is the only recognised cover for that
position in the current squad and he could make his starting debut in
the clash with Los Pumas at Twickenham.
While no player will be flown over from Australia to boost the squad,
Leroy Houston - who is playing on loan from the Reds for
English Premiership side Bath - looks a good chance to be called upon.
Houston, 29, was part of the Wallabies' training camp prior to the
three-Test series against England in June, having been coaxed to leave
Bath and return to Super Rugby and the Reds by Cheika with the carrot of
potentially representing Australia.
"Leroy, obviously, has been in the program and sort of knows how we play," added Grey.
"It's a good option for us to have up our sleeve. He'll be match fit as well so it's a positive."
Prop Scott Sio, who scored his first Test try in the opening half in
Pretoria, said McMahon's presence around the squad would be sorely
"He brings a lot of energy to the team," said Sio.
"I call him the Bulldozer, he's a friend of mine - that's just the
way he plays. He only knows one way. He's quite a character in the team
and that's what we're about here, putting it together on and off the