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Rebels back Fainga'a to replace McMahon

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/05/2017 Melissa Woods
Colby Fainga'a of the Rebels © Michael Dodge/Getty Images Colby Fainga'a of the Rebels

While the Melbourne Rebels have their fingers crossed the injury to Sean McMahon isn't as serious as first thought, they feel that they, as well as Australia, have a ready-made replacement in Colby Fainga'a.

McMahon suffered a suspected dislocated wrist and broken arm late in the Rebels' 41-19 Super Rugby loss to the competition-leading Crusaders on Saturday.

He was taken straight to hospital for treatment.

"It's a dislocated wrist at this stage but there could be a break in there," Melbourne coach Tony McGahan said.

"He was in a lot of pain."

With David Pocock on a sabbatical, McMahon was set for Wallabies selection for next month's three-Test series behind first-choice No.7 Michael Hooper.

Now likely to be ruled unavailable, McGahan said Fainga'a would be right at home in a Wallabies jumper, following in the footsteps of his older brothers Saia and Anthony.

The 26-year-old played four seasons with the Brumbies before shifting to Melbourne in 2014 where he has become one of their strongest performers.

"Colby was a super player at the Brumbies and we were really fortunate to pick him up and he's become one of our most consistent players on and off the field," McGahan said.

"We'd be delighted for him to get a look in and he certainly wouldn't be out of place."

Fainga'a showed there was more to his game than just turnovers and tackles in the second half when he took the ball from a line-out and flicked a backhand pass on to a rampaging Marika Koroibete.

"Colby's got a pretty good skill set and he's able to do a lot of things that a lot of other forwards can't do. So we were utilising his ability to do that," McGahan said.

The Wallabies squad will be named on Tuesday night with the first Test against Fiji in Melbourne on June 10.

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