Hooper re­places Moore as Wal­la­bies cap­tain

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Syd­ney, Aus­tralia - Michael Hooper was on Wed­nes­day named as the new Wal­la­bies cap­tain, re­plac­ing the soon-tore­tire Stephen Moore as the team builds to­wards the 2019 World Cup in Ja­pan.

The pop­u­lar open­side flanker was firm favourite to take over and will lead the side in the Rugby Cham­pi­onship opener against the All Blacks in Syd­ney on Au­gust 19.

The 25 year old Hooper, who has played 68 Tests, has en­dured a dif­fi­cult Su­per Rugby sea­son with the un­der-per­form­ing NSW Waratahs and his lead­er­ship of the side and form has been un­der ques­tion.

But Wal­la­bies coach Michael Cheika said he was the right man for the job. Moore had al­ready an­nounced that he will re­tire from in­ter­na­tional rugby at the end of the year.

"Michael al­ways shows on the field how much he loves the gold jer­sey and that's why he is to­tally re­spected among the rugby play­ers in Aus­tralia," Cheika said.

"His role as the leader of this team will also be about mak­ing the stan­dards of the Aus­tralian rugby team the high­est they can pos­si­bly be."

Moore, who has been capped 120 times, will con­tinue to play for the Wal­la­bies, help­ing Hooper's tran­si­tion, un­til the end of Aus­tralia's Eu­ro­pean tour in Novem­ber.

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

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