Michael Hooper: Australia won’t get sucked in by English niggle

Colin Newboult

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper insists that his side will not succumb to English provocation at Suncorp Stadium this weekend.

Australia were left severely hampered in the first Test when lock Darcy Swain lost his cool and was red carded for headbutting Jonny Hill.

Swain had been pushed in the face and his hair pulled by Hill prior to that incident – the latter resulting in the Englishman being sin-binned – but it did not excuse his actions.

England may well try to wind up the hosts again in Brisbane but Hooper insists that they won’t fall into the same trap on Saturday.

Focusing on their own game

“We’ve got to focus on what we can control. We’ve got plenty of roles that are on the field in transitions and everything like that so we can’t be getting sucked into that (niggle),” he told reporters.

“It’s part of the game and being smart around how you come out on top of that is important. It’s always a factor and dealing with it in the right ways is going to be a challenge but a good one.”

Australia have been bolstered by the return of gargantuan prop Taniela Tupou, who replaces Allan Alaalatoa at tighthead.

Tupou is a significant presence in both the loose and the set-piece and will seek to dominate the English scrum this weekend.

Instant energy

“We know what he can deliver as a player, and in terms of personality he’s great,” Hooper added.

“He’s really excited to be playing rugby and lacing up this week. He’s obviously a vibrant personality, so that brings in an instant energy

“And then, on the field, he can do some really great things and has done at this stadium before as well.”

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Australia v England second Test preview

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