Wallabies skipper confident he can go the distance

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies captain Stephen Moore is already Australia’s second-most capped Test player, but the hooker feels as good as ever after a marathon season.

Moore will embark on a new Super Rugby experience in 2017, returning to his home state of Queensland, after signing a three-year contract with the Reds.

The 33-year-old sits behind only George Gregan on the Wallabies’ all-time caps list and his new provincial deal could put him on track to become the most-capped Super Rugby player of all time.

As he looks towards the 2019 World Cup, Moore said he would be monitoring the load his body could cope with.

“I’ll sit down with Cheik and talk about that in the down time, and same with [Queensland coach Nick Stiles] when I get to the Reds,” he said. 

“They’ll have a plan and I will recover well over the next few weeks and get ready to go again.

“I feel good physically, I think it’s a big mental thing to want to keep improving and contributing and that’s going to be a challenge for me to try to find a way to do that.

“I know my teammates and coaches will help me through that."

Moore has shown different elements to his game in 2016, as the Wallabies tried to upskill their forwards, encouraging the tight five to carry and run with the ball more often.

With the influence of national skills coach Mick Byrne, Moore said he was always looking for ways to be better, in the mould of his former Brumbies and Wallabies teammate, and future Reds teammate, George Smith.

“You probably have to as you get older, you find different ways to have an impact on the game,” he said.

“I’ve watched players do that before, and I’ve learned from that. Someone like George Smith is a great example of a player who over his career has found ways to get better and that’s something you have to do.

“We’ve had great coaching this year around that, Mick Byrne’s come in and been a terrific asset for us as a team around our skill and how we use that in a game.

“That’s something we’ll look forward to progressing next year.

“I think that’s got to come in through Super Rugby level now and really take hold there and really carry that forward to our national side.” - Stephen Moore

Moore comes into a Queensland side that already contains a promising hooker in Andrew Ready and said he wanted to help mentor the Queenslander.

“He had a great year this year and I think it’s important that for me, going up there, I want to help him become the best player he can be,” he said.

“That’s ultimately to go on and play for Australia for a long time, play for Queensland for a long time. That’s a big part of my role up there, I’m looking forward to working alongside him.

“He’s already shown that he’s a very capable player. He’s going to be a teammate for me and I’ll make sure we work together hard to contribute as best we can for the Reds.