Hooper signs contract until 2023


By NSW Rugby Media

NSW Waratahs and Wallabies captain Michael Hooper has put pen to paper on an historic five-year deal that will keep the star flanker in Australian Rugby until the end of 2023.

The 26-year old has already amassed 82 Tests, and currently holds the record as the youngest-ever player to reach 100 Super Rugby caps.

Australia’s 82nd Test captain, the Manly junior also became the second-youngest player to skipper the Wallabies when he led the side out against France in 2014.

A two-time John Eales Medallist for the Wallabies’ Players’ Player, the five-year commitment from Hooper will see him remain on Australian shores until after the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Hooper said: “I never really thought about going elsewhere or entertaining anything like that. I was really keen to stay in Australia, and keep doing what I can for the Wallabies and the Waratahs.

“It’s a long deal so I have to thank Cheik (Wallabies coach Michael Cheika) and Raelene (Rugby Australia Chief Executive) as well as the Waratahs for having the belief in me in that I can continue to contribute.

“I love Australian Rugby. I like heading down to Manly Oval to watch club footy in time off, I obviously enjoy getting stuck in at Super Rugby level and then nothing compares to playing Test footy for your country.

“I’m not really into contracts and all that back-and-forward, so to know that I’m sorted through to the next World Cup is really comforting and just means I can throw everything into the Waratahs and Wallabies,” Hooper said.

Since making his NSW Waratahs debut against Queensland in 2013, he has played 93 games for the State, including 48 as captain, which is second only to Phil Waugh (58). One of Hooper’s remarkable statistics includes 79 consecutive matches for the NSW Waratahs. He has also won the State’s highest honour, the Matthew Burke Cup, a record five times.

NSW Waratahs Head Coach Daryl Gibson said Hooper’s commitment to the NSW Waratahs and Australian rugby speaks volumes for what playing the game in this country means to him.

“Securing him for the next five years is fantastic news and it underlines his desire to make an even greater contribution to the game in Australia. He provides stability to our leadership and he always gives the best part of himself for the benefit of the team,” Gibson said.

“I have had the pleasure of watching him grow as a player and leader over the past few years. He has made some tremendous strides in terms of both and I am excited to see him nurture the next generation of NSW Waratahs leaders and players,” Gibson said.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said: “As a coach, Michael is the sort of the leader you dream of. He leads by words but also follows it up with his actions.

“Our team has a strong foundation built on accountability and trust and Michael has been a big driver of that.

“He deserves all the accolades he gets, but I agree with him that now that it’s all done, we park it and focus on the next moment and the next challenge for the Bledisloe,” Cheika said.

Always earmarked as a future Test star, Hooper first earned accolades at the 2011 Junior World Championship, where he captained Australia and was also named the Player of the Tournament.

That led to a Test debut in 2012 where he won Wallabies ‘Rookie of the Year’ and polled third in the annual John Eales Medal, despite having played less than half of the polling games.

The awards continued in 2013, when Hooper claimed the Australian Super Rugby Player of the Year as well as the NSW Waratahs Players’ Player, in a season where he played every game.

The following year turned out to be a dream season for Hooper as he stood-in as captain of the NSW Waratahs for their inaugural Super Rugby title in the absence of injured skipper David Dennis.

The return of Stephen Moore from injury in 2015 meant that Hooper resumed his service as vice-captain of the Wallabies through the Rugby World Cup and into 2016.

Hooper returned to captain the Wallabies last season after the retirement of Moore and will again lead Australia on their path towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Michael Hooper

Super Rugby debut: 2013 v Queensland, Brisbane (for NSW Waratahs) and 2010 v Chiefs, Canberra (for Brumbies)
Super Rugby caps: 93 (NSW Waratahs) and 31 (Brumbies)
Super Rugby points: 95 (NSW Waratahs, 19T) and 25 (Brumbies , 5T)
Test debut: 2012 v Scotland, Newcastle
Test caps: 82
Test points: 75 (15T)

2018 Stats






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