RUGBYMag.com profiled Robbie Shaw last week, a player who might be the third wheel at scrumhalf but who is now in the extended squad with a real shot to make the World Cup team.
At hooker, the situation is similar. Phil Thiel and Chris Biller have been the hookers of choice the last two seasons.
But McLenahan, who was capped against Wales and Uruguay in 2009, wasn’t too far away.
“It has been a few years and I was on the outside looking in, so to get an opportunity to come to camp, especially before a World Cup is something I am looking forward to.”
The former Cal front-rower (as is Biller), returns a better player than he was in 2009.
“I know I learned a lot when I was first here, and to be quite honest, I probably wasn’t as mentally or physically prepared as I could, or should, have been,” said the former All American. “I have taken that pretty seriously over the last nine-plus months, and wanted to play my season for Olympic Club as best as I could and hope to earn another shot.”
McLenahan said his throws let him down in 2009 and he has worked on that consistently. Something must be going right, as Olympic Club’s lineout is one of that team’s strengths.
But it’s more than just that.
“I think overall I need to show the coaches that I am a different player than I was when I was first here, and show them that I am capable of playing at this level and succeeding, no matter what sort of pressure I find myself under.”
Serious words from a serious player. In the end, though, he’s just pleased to get a shot.
“I am just happy to be here, and get down to work.”