Wallabies make shock McCalman move
July 3, 2013
Back-rower Ben McCalman's return to the Wallabies fold could not come on a bigger occasion © Getty Images
Versatile back-rower Ben McCalman is a surprise call-up for the Wallabies for Saturday night's series decider against the British & Irish Lions. Australia have confirmed he will make his international comeback after failing to play a Test in 2012 due to injury.
His inclusion in the 23-man squad presents an intriguing question over who else will line up in the Wallabies back-row and bench. McCalman, who missed selection in Robbie Deans' initial 25-man squad six weeks ago, said he was covering blind-side flanker and No.8. There have been question marks over incumbent No.8 Wycliff Palu's fitness and ability to overcome a lingering knee problem.
Veteran George Smith is also in the mix to play after overcoming a knee injury and Deans has said he wants improvement at the breakdown where young openside flanker Michael Hooper was outpointed by Sam Warburton in the 16-15 second Test victory.
Deans may take a risk by playing six forwards and only two backs on the bench, including two back-rowers, or could possibly start with two ball-scavengers. Queensland No.7 Liam Gill was influential when he came off the bench in Melbourne and could also be an option to start.
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