Sean McMahon still facing fitness test

REBELS and Wallabies back-rower Sean McMahon has been cleared of serious damage to his hip, but will still need to pass a fitness test to take his place in the home clash against the Blues this Friday night.

McMahon (pictured) was replaced in the opening half of the Rebels' 16-15 victory over the Chiefs at AAMI Park on Saturday night after copping a painful blow to his hip.

That knock has made movement difficult for the second-year player.

But in better news for the Melbourne franchise, fullback Jonah Placid (groin) and prop Laurie Weeks (knee) are continuing to progress as they edge closer to being considered for selection.

The Rebels are still an outside chance of making the top six and qualifying for the finals, with a 5-5 record.

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Before beating the 2013 championship-winning Chiefs outfit, they had competitive performances against reigning champions the Waratahs (18-16 defeat) and the Brumbies (13-8 win).

Steven Luatua, meanwhile, will replace Jerome Kaino as skipper of the Blues and has challenged his team to finish their final five games of the season undefeated.

Coach John Kirwan has turned to Luatua, rather than the more experienced Keven Mealamu, after consulting the veteran hooker and Kaino, who is out with a finger injury.

Luatua said he was shocked to receive the phone call from Kirwan but is looking forward to his new role as leader, starting with the match against the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday.


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