Hooper keeps Wallabies captaincy

Michael Hooper has retained the Wallabies captaincy under new coach Dave Rennie.

Hooper first captained the Wallabies in 2014, and has led the team in 46 of his 99 Tests.

Despite losing the NSW Waratahs captaincy this year to Rob Simmons, the 28-year-old flanker got the nod from Rennie ahead of next month’s Bledisoe Cup.

Other contenders for the national captaincy included Simmons, and Rebels pair Dane Haylett-Petty and Matt Toomua.

“I’ve been really impressed with `Hoops’,” Rennie said.

“We’ve spoken a lot over the past nine months and it’s highlighted his passion and commitment.

“He’s a good man with an outstanding work ethic and he’s a great role model for our young men coming through.

“He’s keen to lead, and is highly respected by the Wallaby family. In the end his appointment was a straight forward decision.”

Hooper said it was an “absolute honour” to captain the Wallabies.

“It’s a privilege to wear the Wallabies jersey,” he said.

“I feel proud to lead my teammates and to represent those players that have gone before and all Australians.

“I’m really excited about this group and the direction we are heading.

“We have already spent some quality time together, defining who we are and what we stand for and what we plan to achieve in the coming months.”

Only Wallabies great George Gregan (59) and John Eales (55) have captained Australia more times than Hooper.

The Wallabies leave for New Zealand on Friday to spend two weeks quarantine ahead of Tests against New Zealand on October 11 in Wellington and October 18 in Auckland.

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