Cheika backs leader Hooper

Date published: December 1 2014

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Michael Cheika has praised the leadership of Michael Hooper, increasing the possibility of him captaining Australia in the World Cup.

Australia head coach Michael Cheika has hailed the leadership of Michael Hooper, increasing the possibility of him captaining them in the World Cup.

Hooper, who took over the responsibilities after hooker Stephen Moore was injured in June, is set to continue in the job after leading them strongly.

Cheika hasn’t confirmed the flanker in the role in his early tenure as head coach but hinted that he is the front-runner for the job on a long-term basis.

“Right now, I’ll be truthful to you, I’m very happy with the job that Michael Hooper is doing,” boss Cheika told the Canberra Times on Monday.

“It’s not going to be a presidential run-off or anything like that. It’s going to be about deciding what’s best for the team.”

He added: “It’s a strange situation because Stephen was picked by the previous regime and then it was unlucky for him.”

“He’s got outstanding leadership abilities and he’s going to captain the Brumbies as well. Hooper won’t be captain of the Waratahs but has done it and gives me a good option.

“He’s infallible in relation to his work rate and commitment to the cause.

“He’s growing as a leader all the time. He’s taken on the captaincy in a difficult period and been able to come through it really well without it affecting his play.

“His actions and the way he plays the game speaks really loudly in the way he leads as a captain. The rest of the stuff he needs to learn will come along the way.”

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