Michael Hooper: Australian captain not in right ‘mindset’ to play for Wallabies

Image credit: Planet Rugby

As he is not in the proper “mindset” to compete, Australia captain Michael Hooper withdrew from Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener in Argentina and will fly back home.

According to Rugby Australia, Hooper had informed the group of his choice.

Coach of the Wallabies Dave Rennie praised Hooper for “showing great courage.”

The 30-year-old Hooper stated, “While this choice did not come easily, I know it is the correct one for myself and the team at this time.”

“I’ve tried to put the team first throughout my entire career, and I don’t believe that I am now able to fulfil my commitments with my current mindset,” the athlete said.

Proper In Mendoza, Fraser McReight will take Hooper’s place as the team’s captain in place of James Slipper as the flanker.

Hooper, who debuted for the Wallabies in 2012 and has 121 caps, surpassed George Gregan’s record for the most tests captained last year.

Michael is one of the most impressive and professional individuals I’ve ever coached, and I know this was a hard choice for him, added Rennie.

He has displayed true courage by accepting his current situation and responding accordingly.

The team will be focused on finishing the job tomorrow, and we will help him in every way we can.

“Michael is a wonderful leader. It takes a brave man to recognise where he’s at and come forward while having the best interests of the squad at heart,” said Andy Marinos, chief executive of Rugby Australia.

His well-being will continue to come first, and Rugby Australia and the Australian Rugby community will do everything they can to support him and his family during this difficult time.

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