Michael Hooper

Hooper back to lead Wallabies against France

Rennie handed Lolesio his first cap last year but the then 20-year-old endured a torrid debut as the All Blacks hammered the Wallabies 43-5 to claim the Bledisloe Cup for an 18th successive year.

Lolesio will make his second test start at Lang Park with Matt Toomua alongside him after the experienced inside centre recovered from a neck problem that had threatened his participation.

In more good news on the injury front, Jake Gordon will start at halfback after making a quicker than expected recovery from a knee injury.

Wallaby Hooper eyeing Japan rugby title

Verblitz play the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes in two weeks’ time after All Black halfback TJ Perenara’s team overcame Honda Heat 21-13.

The sizeable Australian contingent at the Panasonic Wild Knights can start thinking about the quarterfinals as well after burying Quade Cooper’s Kintetsu Liners 54-7.

Australian loose forward Jack Cornelsen scored two of the winners’ seven tries, as they blew Kintetsu away 47-0 in the second half, after being held to 7-7 at halftime.

Cooper’s fellow Wallaby, Will Genia, missed the game due to injury.

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper named John Eales Medal winner for third time

Hooper polled 91 points in the player-led vote, finishing just three points ahead of last year's winner Marika Koroibete, while James Slipper was third with 79 points.

Nic White (61 points) and Reece Hodge (56) rounded out the top five.

In a pandemic-reduced season, the Wallabies played six tests, winning one, drawing three and losing two.

"On behalf of the Australian Rugby community, I would like to congratulate all of our winners throughout the Rugby Australia Awards series," Rugby Australia interim boss Rob Clarke said.

Hooper re-appointed Wallabies skipper

Rennie yesterday oversaw his first training session since taking over from Michael Cheika last year and has today confirmed Hooper in the position he has held since 2014.

Hooper has played 46 tests as captain, including through two World Cup campaigns.

Twice world champions Australia are a lowly seventh in the test rankings and were well beaten by England in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Japan last year.

Hooper will take 2021 Waratahs sabbatical to play under Steve Hansen in Japan

It was last April when swingeing Covid-19 pay cut arrangements were confirmed by Rugby Australia following lengthy discussions with the Rugby Union Players Association.

To compensate for the loss of earnings, Rugby Australia agreed that a half-dozen of its top stars would be permitted to seek out six-month contracts overseas outside of the international Test window. This stipulation has now been taken advantage of by Hooper who will join Toyota Verblitz who have ex-All Blacks boss Hansen and ex-Wallabies assistant Simon Cron on their management ticket.  

Hooper goes from 'out of depth' to setting the standard

A prodigy and a veteran all wrapped in one, Hooper’s Super Rugby ton will add to a host of accolades that continue to rack up.

He certainly didn’t look out of place when he made his debut for the Brumbies, against the Chiefs, replacing 111-Test flanker George Smith and crossing for a try along the way.

“I felt well out of my depth for quite a while,” he said.

“It’s a tough competition. It is tough, it’s fast, it’s physical.

“It seems like an absolute age ago and (I had) a lot of scars and cuts less but loving it all the same.”

Michael Hooper to miss Wales game

Hooper, 23, was cited for clearing out Mike Brown at a ruck during the Wallabies' 33-13 win against England.

Citing commissioner Steve Hinds ruled Hooper had used his shoulder illegally.

Wales and Australia have both qualified for the World Cup quarter-finals and the winner of the game at Twickenham will top their group.

Australia pair Pocock & Hooper against Fiji

Pocock starts at number eight with Hooper at seven - just as they did in the win over New Zealand in August.

Toulon's Matt Giteau, who is available after the Australian Rugby Union relaxed rules over overseas-based players in April, starts at centre.

Will Genia is preferred to Nick Phipps at scrum-half and wins his 61st cap.