Rugby-Move to Japan prolonged my career, says returning Wallaby McMahon


(Reuters) - Australia backrower Sean McMahon has credited his move to Japan with prolonging his career as he prepares to return to the Wallabies set-up for the first time in almost four years.

McMahon picked up the most recent of his 26 caps against Scotland at Murrayfield in November 2017 before moving to play for the Suntory Sungoliaths and entering into Wallabies exile.

The 27-year-old has been recalled by coach Dave Rennie for the remainder of The Rugby Championship and he is relishing his return.

"One of the mitigating factors to it was to try and let the body recover a bit," McMahon said of his move to the Top League.

"The body had copped a fair hiding by the time I got to 2017 and Japan's done wonders for me, my body.

(It's) definitely extended my career by a year or two and now I'm playing, I'm fresh and it's been good for me up in Japan.

"I am looking forward to the contact side of things at international level, to see if I'm still capable of that. Standing up with the big dogs."

McMahon returns to an Australia team currently on an uptick in form following back-to-back wins in Queensland over world champions South Africa.

Rennie's side next face Argentina in Townsville on Saturday in the first of two games against the Pumas as the Wallabies close out their Rugby Championship campaign for 2021.

"There were times, especially when you're watching a World Cup - and it's in Japan - that you think to yourself: It would be nice to be out there with your friends and be back under the big lights in such a huge environment," McMahon told reporters.

"Being back now and having the opportunity to try (to) assist whenever I can, whether that be just at training, to help the boys continue this success they're currently having is what I'm looking forward to."

(Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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