Wallabies: Michael Hooper delighted to be back and competing in Test rugby

Dylan Coetzee
Wallabies star Michael Hooper on the charge against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Wallabies veteran Michael Hooper loved being back on the field for his country after taking time out of the game for mental health reasons.

Hooper shone on his return that saw Australia beat Scotland narrowly 16-15 in Edinburgh, continuing where he left off in Wallaby gold, once again showcasing his class on defence and at the breakdown.

Happy to be back competing

The 31-year-old was impressed with his team’s “grit” and was delighted to come away with a win in a brilliantly contested Test match. However, Hooper admitted he still has a “bit to go” to fully return to speed.

“I enjoyed it – it’s been a long time coming, still a fair bit to go but I just enjoyed competing tonight, it was good,” Hooper told Stan Sport.

“We showed great grit, this team always has that, but to get away with W is awesome.”

Although Hooper is only just making his return, he will undoubtedly be a crucial player for Australia going forward, as he has for many years.

The Test centurion says he is taking things one day at a time and is looking forward to the remainder of the Wallabies’ northern hemisphere tour.

“Purely a day at a time – that’s what I’ve tried to do so far,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed being back in the mix. I want to grow my game and compete each week in these great stadiums and go from there.”

Credit to Scotland

Hooper commended Scotland’s exploitation of the breakdown at Murrayfield and admits the Wallabies will need to improve on their attacking play ahead of a gruelling Test against France next weekend.

“The Scottish were good over our ball,” he said.

“We had some really good attacking passages but the Scots turned us over quite well and denied some of our access into the 22.

“That was a bit frustrating there because we’ve got a lot more to show in attack.”

The win was crucial for Australia, who snapped out of a three-game losing streak. Following the Test against France, the Wallabies face Italy and then the world number one side Ireland to round out their end-of-year tour.

READ MORE: Autumn Nations Series: Wallabies end run of three straight losses to Scotland by winning at Murrayfield