Warren product Ben McCalman overcomes injuries to earn back his Wallabies jersey

HE'S BACK: Ben McCalman has barely played in 2017 but that didn't stop him from impressing on Saturday and earning a Wallabies jersey again. Photo: AAP/CRAIG GOLDING
HE'S BACK: Ben McCalman has barely played in 2017 but that didn't stop him from impressing on Saturday and earning a Wallabies jersey again. Photo: AAP/CRAIG GOLDING

He’d barely played a match in the past 12 months but Ben McCalman made his presence felt on Saturday and the Warren junior was rewarded with a place in the Wallabies’ spring tour squad.

McCalman proved a handful when coming on for the Wallabies in Saturday’s 31-28 win over the Barbarians at Sydney.

The hulking back-rower, who played just one match of Super Rugby in 2017 due to thumb and shoulder injuries and hasn’t played for his country in more than a year, had seven carries and powered for 73 metres.

He also produced a number of breaks and after the game his return was complete when Michael Cheika named his as part of the Wallabies' 32-man squad for the spring tour of Japan and the United Kingdom.

His chance of starting in the tour matches have been boosted by a year-ending injury to young back-rower Jack Dempsey.

McCalman is one of three products from this region to make the squad with Wellington-born, Dubbo Kangaroos junior Tom Robertson included while Coonamble’s Ned Hanigan is also in.

Robertson made his first start in a Wallabies jersey for some time on Saturday and was solid throughout, earning praise for his work around the set-piece.

The Wallabies depart for Yokohama on Tuesday night ahead of their first-ever Test match on Japanese soil on November 4.

The tour also includes Tests against Wales, England and Scotland.

"We'll be looking to pick our best side for every Test of the tour. These are important matches and we want to be build a consistent, winning mindset and that's something we want to pass onto next year's team," Cheika said.

This story McCalman’s long road back is now complete first appeared on Daily Liberal.