Waratahs wait on McCalman medical report

Dec 28, 2017 - 1:08 AM The NSW Waratahs are waiting for a medical report on Wallabies backrower Ben McCalman's troublesome right shoulder before finalising negotiations with him ahead of the Super Rugby season.

The Waratahs expressed interest in McCalman after his Western Force team was axed last September, but he again injured his shoulder in the Wallabies' record loss to Scotland at Murrayfield last month.

It was the fourth time in two years that the 29-year-old veteran of 52 Tests has injured the shoulder.

McCalman, who played only one Super Rugby game for the Western Force last season after fracturing his scapula, had also twice fractured the shoulder blade while playing for the Wallabies last year.

It is understood McCalman, who did not return calls, is weighing up his options and determining whether he needs another lengthy rehabilitation to heal his shoulder.

Waratahs chief executive Andrew Hore confirmed on-going interest in the hard-running, tough-tackling McCalman, but was reluctant to discuss the possible signing in any detail.

"We are interested in Ben McCalman, but we are waiting for a medical report," was all Hore would say.

McCalman was one of two high-profile Force players the Waratahs showed interest in following the axing of the franchise.

They signed Force and Wallabies centre Curtis Rona and were in deep discussions with McCalman whom they had previously tried to recruit.

A fit McCalman would be a wonderful addition to the Waratahs' roster, providing depth and flexibility to their forwards stocks in the back five.

The Waratahs already boast an all-Wallabies backrow in Michael Hooper, Jack Dempsey and Ned Hanigan, but McCalman can play every position in the loose-forwards as well as second row, which would be handy as NSW have lost Test locks Dean Mumm (retired) and Will Skelton (Saracens).

McCalman, who has played 92 Super Rugby games for the Force and has appeared at two World Cups for the Wallabies since making his provincial and international debuts in 2010, played some of the best rugby of his career at the end of the year.

After a frustrating, injury-plagued season, he made a rousing comeback in the Wallabies' win against the Barbarians in Sydney in October and featured in all four Tests on their end of year tour to Japan and Britain, starting at blindside flanker in the Scotland Test.

Source: AAP

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