Michael Hooper shows off breakdown prowess in Sevens debut in Hong Kong

Dylan Coetzee
Australia Sevens star Michael Hooper.

Australia Sevens star Michael Hooper.

Former Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper did not take long to settle into the speed of play in Sevens as he made his debut against Fiji at the Hong Kong SVNS.

Hooper showcased his impressive breakdown prowess, which was one of the cornerstones of his success in 15s, within minutes of taking to the field in their win against Fiji.

Breakdown master

The Wallabies centurion was committed in his first appearance and was quickly back on his feet after making a tackle to get over the ball and win the turnover at the breakdown, which will likely be the first of many.

The 32-year-old was also used as a substitute in their second game where they lost 19-14 in the final play against France.

Another code switching star

Hooper is not the only 15s star to make the switch to Sevens recently with French superstar Antoine Dupont changing codes earlier in the season, making his debut at the SVNS event in Vancouver with hopes of securing Olympic gold in Paris later this year.

The talented star took extremely well to the faster format and France benefitted greatly once they moved him off the bench and into the starting line-up. This ultimately led Les Bleus to their first title on the circuit in 19 years when they hoisted the trophy in Los Angeles only one stop after Dupont’s debut.

How Antoine Dupont dominated the Investec Champions Cup pool stage

Dupont, however, is not with the France squad in Hong Kong as he has returned to Toulouse to balance commitments between his Olympic dream and his club.

The 27-year-old will lead the side in their Champions Cup round of 16 tie with Racing 92 this weekend. The clash also sees the return of Dupont’s right-hand man Romain Ntamack, who has not played since suffering a serious knee injury in a warm-up game for the Rugby World Cup in France last year.

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