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Jake Michaels is a graduating sports journalist from Melbourne. You can follow him on Twitter at @jmichaels193

National Rugby Championship
Rising star Sean McMahon seeks to make impact
Jake Michaels
August 20, 2014
Sean McMahon has made a splash in 2014 © Getty Images
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Sean McMahon hopes the National Rugby Championship (NRC) will provide the additional experience he needs to become even more prolific in 2015 and beyond.

The athletic flanker managed in the past eight months to cement his place in the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby squad, claiming the club's 2014 Rookie of the Year award. He then set off to compete in the Rugby Sevens at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, winning a bronze medal for Australia and earning valuable experience at the highest level.

"Competing at the Commonwealth Games was an awesome experience," McMahon told ESPN. "To be around elite athletes and competing in full stadiums was unreal."

McMahon is looking to continue his rich vein of form and gain further experience when he pulls on the Melbourne Rising jumper in the NRC. And he is confident that his preparation hasn't been compromised despite coming off a packed schedule.

"I'm back to full training this week and working really hard to be ready for the National Rugby Championship," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting more 15s experience which is going to be valuable in the future."

The NRC features nine Australian teams, and the inaugural season will run over an 11-week period before a finals series determines the competition's champion. Designed and launched as a third-tier competition to provide additional game time and exposure to Australian rugby players, it will also afford players the opportunity to remain match fit during the Super Rugby off-season.

McMahon, 20, hopes also to work on one key area of his game.

"I guess I need to work on my impact around the rucks, and it's a good opportunity to continue playing to do that," he told ESPN

McMahon has just extended his Rebels contract to the end of 2016, but he is looking beyond Melbourne and the Rising to eye a coveted place in the Wallabies squad.

"I have already managed to tick off a lot of goals this year, but the main goal now for any Australian rugby player is to play for the Wallabies," he said, noting the fast-tracked experience in the NRC could be exactly what he and other younger players need in order to be match-ready for Test rugby at an earlier age.

McMahon and the Rising open their NRC campaign at home to North Harbour Rays at AAMI Park on August 24.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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