Top 15 of 2017: No Moore for veteran hooker

International
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

It's been a big year in rugby on many different fronts, so RUGBY.com.au is taking a look back at the 15 biggest storylines of the year, based on the stories you read and reacted to.

10.  No Moore for former Wallabies skipper 

It was a year of change for the Wallabies and little marked that more than the end of Stephen Moore’s career, after 128 Tests.

After 13 seasons of Test rugby and 15 in Super Rugby, Moore made the somewhat surprising call to step down, first from international rugby and then from provincial rugby.

Moore handed over the Test reins to Michael Hooper in August, beginning a transition that is now complete.


Moore had not been able to rediscover the form that saw him ascend to the Test captaincy, deciding to cut short his ambition for a fourth World Cup, with his contract initially running until 2019.

Born in Saudi Arabia to Irish parents, Moore moved to Queensland as a young child, working his way up the rugby ranks as he got older.

A Test debut came in 2005, when he was playing with the Reds, before the hooker moved south in 2009.

The rake created some controversy with the former Brumbies administration when he opted to return home, preparing for life after rugby with wife Courtney and their children.


Moore’s longevity is up there with the best of them, the second highest-capped Wallabies player of all time,  most-capped Wallabies hooker and most-capped Australian Super Rugby player, seventh overall.

He led Australia to the 2015 Rugby World Cup final, 18 months after his first crack at the captaincy was cut cruelly short by a serious knee injury.

Moore’s announcement gave him the chance to farewell his home crowd at the third Bledisloe in Brisbane, with his parents, sisters, wife and children, all in attendance.

The former skipper opened up on his decision ahead of Australia’s Test against England, in a rare candid interview

Somewhat poetically, Moore did his final media duties as a Test footballet alongside the youngster seemingly anointed as Australia's hooker heir, Jordan Uelese.