Major Wallabies boost as Michael Hooper’s return looms — but likely not as captain

The Wallabies are expected to receive a major boost ahead of their five-Test Spring Tour, with the country’s most capped captain Michael Hooper expected to make himself available to play.

The Wallabies are expected to receive a major boost ahead of their five-Test Spring Tour, with the country’s most capped captain Michael Hooper expected to make himself available to play.

An official decision is likely to be made late this week, but it is believed Hooper is excited by the prospect of returning on the Spring Tour with a view of pushing for selection in next year’s World Cup.

It is understood he does not want to continue serving as captain, having held the role since mid-2017 after becoming the second youngest skipper as a 22-year-old in 2014. He has led the Wallabies on 68 occasions, nine more than George Gregan’s previous record.

Hooper does not believe he has a mortgage on the No.7 jersey, and instead wants to earn his stripes in the squad following the encouraging performances by Pete Samu and Fraser McReight which have shown the Wallabies have depth in the role.

Major Wallabies boost as Michael Hooper’s return looms — but likely not as captain
Michael Hooper and Dave Rennie

The Wallabies are in no rush to name their squad for the end of year Tests, with their next match against Scotland on October 31.

Read Also:Dave Rennie: ‘You can’t do that at a World Cup’: Wallabies crave consistency on spring tour

Others like Bernard Foley, Will Skelton and even Irae Simone are likely to feature, with Dave Rennie confirming on Saturday night Japanese-based winger Marika Koroibete to be given the tour off after a mammoth year.

But the likely return of Hooper will be welcomed by all, with his leadership and consistency missed.

On Saturday, former Wallabies star Drew Mitchell said the “gap” between the side’s best and worst was too great.

Hooper is one of the few players whose performances rarely wavers, with consistency and courage the hallmarks of the forward’s career.

Should he indeed be named, his return, even if he does not line-up against Scotland, would give the squad an injection of positivity after their Bledisloe Cup capitulation across the ditch, where they were “shaded in all areas” by the All Blacks, according to Rennie.

Hooper, 30, earned widespread praise when he withdrew from The Rugby Championship ahead of the tournament opener in Argentina on August 7, citing a “mindset” issue.

Rennie applauded the decision, telling reporters it was “brave” and “courageous”.

Former England captain Will Carling described Hooper as a “brave and honest man”.

“Very few people can understand how incredible it is to capt(ain) your country, but also how draining.

“This honesty reflects a hugely impressive leader.

“To those that say it is weak – impressive leaders stay the course.

“What is impressive/honest is that he is saying he would not do (the) job as well as he could/should. Many would just carry on, lesser performance – but still there.

“He has said that is not good enough for him.”

Total
7
Shares
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Article
Imagine Emmanuel Meafou, a 6'8", 145-pound Toulouse lock, running at you from five meters away while you have little time to prepare.

WATCH: Toulouse Magical play remind us BaaBass

Next Article
Eddie Jones has been taking inspiration from the Navy SEALs as he prepares for the World Cup

Eddie Jones has been taking inspiration from the Navy SEALs as he prepares for the World Cup

Related Posts