Backrowers are an unusual bunch. Picture: Stuart Walmsley/
Backrowers are an unusual bunch. Picture: Stuart Walmsley/

Weird pre-game ritual gets McMahon steaming

SEAN McMahon has revealed the offbeat ritual that will fire him up to topple England's 124kg goliath Nathan Hughes ... a hot shower while teammates are already kitted up ready to play.

Even the full-on Wallabies backrower knows that fellow players think it a bit weird but McMahon is sticking with what works for the biggest Test of the tour at Twickenham early on Sunday morning (AEDT).

It's not that McMahon needs to wash away the dirt from pre-game forward drills, he just likes the extra shower before dressing in gold.

"I always have a shower before I run out on to the field. That's how I get myself fired up for a game," said McMahon, who uses it as a convenient time-waster as well.

"It is a decently hot shower and gives you a little bit of a burn, a way to bring you to life and switch you on."

Former tennis star Martin Hingis always found a way not to tread on the court lines between points, five-time champion Bjorn Borg would grow a beard especially for Wimbledon and there are countless more sporting superstitions.

McMahon applies Glad Wrap around his strapping and tattoos before taking the plunge.

"The other boys are putting on their socks while I'm putting my towel around my waist and heading into the shower, so yeah, there's always someone thinking I'm a bit weird," McMahon said with a laugh in London.

Text messages or a phone call from family are also a dressing room reminder of who he is playing for and switches him on to do his best.

Nothing less will be needed at Twickenham where the 100kg McMahon will give away 24kg in the match-up against the Fijian-born Hughes, who has a strong running game plus a knack for one-handed offloads in the tackle.

"There are battles out there the whole time against England but the bigger they are, the harder they tend to fall," McMahon said.

"You go out with enough heart to get the job done. If you are 50 per cent, you will generally hurt yourself so you have to go 110 per cent and make sure you do the job on them.

"I'm playing No.8 at the moment and it is always good to go out there and try and do better than your opposing player so you focus on that."