Tim Walsh wants to add Sean McMahon to his Australia sevens squad for Tokyo Olympics.
The Australia Sevens head coach has said that he thinks the Australian men’s team will be able to win back the hearts of Australians if they succeed in the Tokyo Games. He said it happened for the women’s team when they won the hearts of the nation after striking gold in the Rio Summer Olympic Games in 2016. The heartfelt battle against the Aussie ladies and the Black Ferns was watch around the world as Charlotte Caslick and her squad took home the gold medal.
Now they’re looking to make that happen for the men’s side that has since then been over shadowed by the success of their female counter part.
“You look at what it did for women in Australia by winning the gold medal. That didn’t just change rugby in Australia, it changed women’s sport,” Walsh said in an interview.
“Those defining moments and perceptions of contact sport, and then on the back of that you’re seeing women’s AFL, NRL, and other professional leagues and a lot of it, the catalyst, was the women winning.
“To see them set the world on fire it just changed everything. The impact that an Olympic gold medal has on any sport is phenomenal.
“You look at the NBA, the Last Dance stuff, NBA was big, but then the Dream Team went to the Olympics at Barcelona and won the gold medal and it just transcended cultures. Millions of fans became billions and it was because of the Olympics. So what is the impact that a gold medal can have on sevens and rugby in Australia, huge.”
McMahon has been playing rugby in Japan since 2017, and for the past years, Rugby Australia has been trying to lure the Wallabies back row to come home. Although his comeback in the gold and green jersey is unlikely, he is one player Walsh has had his eye on from the XV’s format that he wants in his Olympic team.
Anyone who wished to be part of the Olympic Games had to express their interest by the end of last month, and reports have said that it can be revealed that McMahon has been included. Jack Maddocks, is also another player from them larger format that has been named to be part of the possible squad. It is vital that the two XV’s players commit to the sevens program for at least sic to eight weeks on the road to the July Games in Japan.
“He’s (McMahon) an option,” Walsh said in an interview.
“I do talk to him and when he came to Cape Town and played he fitted in like a pro and he performed exceptionally well. I’m in contact, hopefully the stars align and competitions don’t change. The door is open.”
Walsh said he won’t “close the door on anyone”, but admits it will be impossible to draft last minute entries.