Michael Hooper has won this week’s rugby.com.au weekly poll with the majority of fans voting him the most likely to be leading the polling for next year’s John Eales Medal at the conclusion of the 2012 Spring Tour.
Hooper received 49% of the votes, with 27% of fans believing Captain Nathan Sharpe would make the early running, followed by Adam Ashley-Cooper on 14%, Kurtley Beale with 6% and Sitaleki Timani on 4%.
Since being given the chance in the Qantas Wallabies number 7 following injury to former captain, David Pocock, Hooper has proven he is more than capable of matching it with the best in the world.
Right from the beginning of this week’s poll Hooper was the people’s clear favourite securing 68% of votes after just one day of the poll going live on rugby.com.au. Sharpe and Ashley-Cooper remained in their second and third spots respectively throughout the week but could only chip away slightly at Hoopers impressive lead.
The tight result of last week’s third Spring Tour Test match between the Qantas Wallabies and Italy proved to have little effect on fans in terms of who would lead the John Eales medal polling at the conclusion of this year’s Test season.
After taking out the U20s Player of the Year award at the 2011 John Eales Medal, Hooper secured the Rookie of the Year award at this year’s awards ceremony held in Sydney in early November. His sensational run of form has now seen him firmly positioned as the player fans believe favourite to take out the John Eales Medal in 2013. If he were to achieve the treble next year it would certainly cap off an incredible rise to fame for the young star.
Retiring Captain Nathan Sharpe, who plays his final ever Test this weekend against Wales in Cardiff, won this year’s John Eales Medal becoming only the second player in the Awards history to win it twice, his first was back in 2005.
Michael Hooper came third in this year’s John Eales Medal polling, a substantial effort considering the 20-year-old had only played in nine of a possibly 11 Tests during the voting period after making his debut in June.
This week’s final Spring Tour Test against Wales in Cardiff will be the final swansong for Hooper and the Qantas Wallabies in 2012, with the sides next outing the highly anticipated first Test against British & Irish Lions at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday 22 June. Tickets to the all nine of the British & Irish Lions matches in Australia will go on sale across the country at 9:00am local time on Monday 18 February, for more information visit our new 2013 British & Irish Lions website.
There is no doubt Hooper will be a huge asset to the Qantas Wallabies and his new Super Rugby team, the NSW Waratahs, when they take on the best from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in 2013 and fans will no doubt be keeping their fingers crossed that his purple patch of form continues.
This week our rugby.com.au poll is giving you the chance to have your say on which of the four countries that provide players to the British & Irish Lions, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, do you love seeing the Qantas Wallabies defeat the most?