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McMeniman starts road back to Wallabies

Date
On the road back ... Hugh McMeniman.

On the road back ... Hugh McMeniman. Photo: Craig Golding

Fearless Western Force forward Hugh McMeniman will take his first step toward a Wallaby recall when he returns to Super Rugby against the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night.

McMeniman is set to start in the Force pack for their AAMI Park clash to open the Super season.

Force coach Michael Foley will look to McMeniman to lead by example against the Rebels, particularly in the absence of injured skipper Matt Hodgson and the loss of Wallabies duo Nathan Sharpe (retirement) and David Pocock (Brumbies).

The 29-year-old spent the past three years season in Japan after shoulder and knee injuries over five seasons limited his playing time to just 29 appearances for the Reds and 21 Test caps.

Force coach Michael Foley said the 114kg powerhouse had the ability to play for the Wallabies again, with Test coach Robbie Deans seemingly agreeing by including him in the train-on squad last month.

"Nothing's changed too much about Hugh," said Foley.

"He's a couple of years older but he's still the guy who plays with unbelievable fearlessness.

"He has almost no regard for his body, which we've tried to temper a little bit but once he gets on the field there's no hesitation."

Foley worked with McMeniman back in 2007 as a Wallabies assistant and he said the time he spent in Japan had given him a real hunger to play again.

"What's impressed me more than anything now is his level of professionalism," he said.

"I think he maybe used to cut a few corners in terms of his preparation and doing all the things to get his body right.

"Now he has a real hunger to test himself and play for Australia again."

AAP

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Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
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NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
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SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
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ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
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CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
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SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
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SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
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