Michael Hooper targets the Olympics after being axed by Eddie Jones

Colin Newboult

Former captain Michael Hooper in the Wallabies jersey in 2023.

Former Wallabies captain Michael Hooper has set his sights on the Olympics next year after missing out on the Rugby World Cup.

The flanker was a key part of the Australian squad for over a decade and appeared set to play a vital role during the global tournament in France.

That was until head coach Eddie Jones, who was appointed in January, decided to axe Hooper on the eve of the World Cup.

Wallabies future and Sevens

The 31-year-old may look to win his spot back in the Wallabies squad at some point but, with the Olympics taking place in 2024, that is his primary target.

“It is a different goal, but one I am excited about,” he told Daily Mail Australia.

“The rules are very different, I had a run with the team recently [at Moore Park in Sydney], and I need to get my head around everything.

“Being an Olympian would be amazing, but I’m not there yet.

“In terms of the Wallabies, I won’t rule myself out, but at 31, who knows, maybe they [coaching staff] will look in a different direction.”

Hooper watched on as the Wallabies failed to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time ever.

Defeats to Wales and Fiji meant they exited at the pool stage, putting huge pressure on Jones, who was criticised for a number of his decisions.


“Seeing my mates, what they are going through, it has been rough,” the back-rower said.

“I am a proud Aussie, so to see us not reach the quarter-final stage for the first time [at a World Cup] has been disappointing.”

There are rumours over Jones’ future after just nine months in the role. It was reported that the 63-year-old had held a Zoom interview with Japanese officials over potentially taking over the Brave Blossoms.

The head coach has consistently stated his commitment to the job, but the Japan Rugby Football Union have not denied that talks have taken place.

“Like everyone, I see all the stories coming out, but I honestly don’t know what is happening,” Hooper added.

READ MORE: Eddie Jones edges a step closer to abandoning Australia and rejoining Japan – report