Hooper replaces Moore as captain

10th Jun 2014, 06:36


Next in line: Michael Hooper

Next in line: Michael Hooper

Wallabies openside flanker Michael Hooper will become Australia's 82nd Test captain in Saturday's clash with France in Melbourne.

Wallabies openside flanker Michael Hooper will become Australia's 82nd Test captain in Saturday's clash with France in Melbourne.

At just 22 years of age Hooper becomes one of the youngest-ever Wallabies captains, with his elevation coming after hooker Stephen Moore suffered a season-ending knee injury in Australia's 50-23 victory over France at the weekend.

Jimmy Flynn remains Australia's youngest Test captain, leading his country at 20-years-old in 1914.

Hooper's promotion allows prop James Slipper to step-up in a leadership capacity with the 50-game talent joining the experienced Adam Ashley-Cooper as the team's two vice-captains.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie congratulated Hooper on his new role.

"It's a massive honour to captain your country and I'm confident Michael has all the right leadership qualities to lead this team moving forward," said McKenzie.

"He'll undoubtedly bring his own unique personality to the way things are done but we wouldn't have recognised him in a leadership capacity at the beginning of this series if we didn't think he had to the ability to step into this role.

"I couldn't have been more impressed with his performance on the weekend after Stephen went down, so we know the added responsibility won't impact the high-level of play we all expect from him each week.

"He'll also step-up to shape how this team functions off the field. As a group, we've clearly defined expectations around team culture and Michael will play a significant role in delivering that within the group.

"However, no one player has a mortgage on leadership and we'll be expecting a number of guys within the group to lead.

"I was really pleased with the contributions Adam made to this group as vice-captain and I'm confident James Slipper will also step-up to have a similar impact.

"James has already demonstrated the capacity to lead by guiding the Queensland Reds to four victories from his five Super Rugby games as captain in 2013.

"He's also been one of Australia's most consistent performers across 50 Tests and is extremely well-respected within the group."

Hooper's elevation to captain continues a remarkable four seasons where he has won most significant individual awards on offer, including the John Eales Medal in just his second year of international Rugby in 2013.

In addition, Hooper won the 2013 Australian Super Rugby Player of the Year, Wallabies Rookie of the Year in 2012, and Australian Under 20s Player of the Year in 2011.