Hooper keen to break career hoodoo

International
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Michael Hooper has never won at Eden Park and the thought of breaking a three-decade drought in Auckland with the Wallabies would be a major notch in his career.

Having not claimed a World Cup or a Bledisloe in his career, Hooper was asked where a potential hoodoo breaker would rate, it would seem to be quite high.

“It'll only ever go down as a win but I think as far as individual goal it'd be very nice to win,” he said.

“I haven't won there for the Tahs either. It's  a tough place to win but it's an exciting challenge on the other side of the coin.

Michael hooper isn't worried about favouritism. Photo: Getty images“Like myself, all the other guys are keen to get in and break that.”

For the Wallabies team as a whole, Hooper said the Auckland Bledisloe finale had as much meaning as any other, despite the series being

“Not for us, not for the team we want to be,” he said.

“There's no such thing as a dead rubber in any game, any Test, we're so pumped for this, so excited to go over there and get the job done.”

Hooper said what he had seen in their preparation gave him faith that a 30-year drought across the Tasman could finally be broken.

"Our training this week, training today was fantastic, it's been hot so we can expect a bit of a weather change over there but guys’ intent this week at training's been fantastic and it's been building over the last couple that we've been together,” he said.

The Eden Park Test is the final southern hemisphere match for the Wallabies in 2016 but Hooper said they didn’t see it as  a springboard to Spring Tour success, ahead of their first Test against Wales on November 5.

“They’re Two separate things. this has been just solely, ‘let's focus on this week’,” he said.

“As quick as next week and the Spring Tour's going to come round, then we refocus and go for that.

“One isn't hinged on the other, we've isolated this as being let's just get through this and then go from there.”

The All Blacks have an intimidating record. Photo: Getty ImagesTwo months ago, when the All Blacks felled the Wallabies in Sydney, it was defence where things fell apart but coach Nathan Grey said they’d come a long way since then.

‘We’ve been together longer, that's one thing and the guys are getting more comfortable defending together with each other,” he said.

“I think a great understanding amongst all the players in the squad has led to an improvement in that area.

“We've got ways to go but we're very confident.”

The Wallabies flew to Auckland on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s Bledisloe double header, kicking off with the Wallaroos-Black Ferns Test at 3:05pm AEDT LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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