Michael Hooper named Wallabies captain with All Blacks on horizon

Rufina Vignone
Agosto 2, 2017

The new title comes after Stephen Moore stood down from the position last week, announcing that he would be retiring from worldwide rugby at the end of the year.

Hooper was officially unveiled by Wallabies coach Michael Cheika as Stephen Moore's replacement at a press conference in Sydney on Wednesday.

The openside flanker first captained the Wallabies in a Test match in 2014 - becoming the 82nd player to do so - after Moore sustained a season-ending knee injury in their opening match of the year against France. Moore had already announced that he will retire from global rugby at the end of the year.

The abrasive back rower has always been groomed to step up to the role, having led the side throughout the 2014 season when Moore was injured and twice during the recent June internationals when the hooker was benched.

Hooper's decision-making has often come under fire, in particular following the shock loss to Scotland in June, but the fact the Wallabies squad is hardly bursting with candidates for skipper meant the 25-year-old's ascension to the role in an official capacity was a mere formality.

"It's a huge honour to just wear the Wallabies jersey, let alone captain the side", Hooper said in a statement on the Wallabies website.

"I'm extremely grateful to Cheik (Michael Cheika) but also to Steve (Moore) for all that he's done for me and the team".

"It's a huge honour" Qantas Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has today appointed Michael Hooper to lead Australia.

"I'm relatively new in this role and [don't have] much experience so I'll take any help, any advice I can get", Hooper said.

"I'm really excited about what we can achieve in the next four months. It is a very special opportunity for all of us, and we'll be doing all we can to show that pride in the jersey".

Hooper and Cheika have a close relationship and worked together as the Waratahs won their maiden Super Rugby title in 2014, making it an easy decision.

A two-time John Eales Medal victor as Australia's premier player, Hooper has consistently been among the Wallabies' best in recent seasons.

"All players in Australian rugby. they respect Michael Hooper".

"Michael loves Australia and his record as a player speaks for itself but he's exactly the type of man we want to see in rugby - connected to his school, a great club man at the grassroots, a passionate Super Rugby player and a proud Wallaby".

Hooper will lead Michael Cheika's Australia into back-to-back tests against the world champion All Blacks when the southern hemisphere's Rugby Championship kicks off later this month.

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