'I don't know when his off-switch is': Australia's Super Rugby captains pay tribute to Hooper

Super Rugby - AU
by Christy Doran

When Michael Hooper runs out against the Western Force on the Gold Coast on Friday night, he will become the youngest player in Super Rugby history to play 150 matches.

At 28 years and 290 days, he smashes Kurtley Beale's previous record (30 years, 111 days).

He becomes just the 10th Australian to play 150 Super Rugby matches and the 21st player in the competition to bring up the milestone.

As his first captain Stephen Hoiles told RUGBY.com.au on Thursday, "It's frightening to think how many games he'll end up with if he keeps going the way he is".

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'Like mountain goats head-butting each other': The training session that announced Hooper's arrival

 

Australia's current Super Rugby captains paid tribute to him ahead of the feat.

Dane Haylett-Petty - Melbourne Rebels: "100 Tests and 150 Super games is actually unbelievable, especially the fashion he's done it in, one of the best players every week, consistently performing and putting his body on the line. 

"His endless passion and drive always amazes me - he's relentless, which inspires everyone around him.

"Someone I love playing with and against! He leads from the front and sets the tone.

"Great person off the field but knows how to flick the switch when he crosses the white line."

Ian Prior - Western Force: "For Hoops to notch up 150 Super games to go with his 99 caps for the Wallabies at just 28 years old is a remarkable achievement.

"Particularly when you consider the position he plays, how physically demanding it can be and how much energy he puts into every game.

"Congrats on a great achievement, mate."

Rob Simmons - NSW Waratahs: "Hardworking, passionate, and he really wants the best out of everyone and is willing to help to get everyone there.

"Just Hoops' constant willingness to get better.

"I don't know when his off-switch is.

"He'll give you a call at 7am, he'll give you a call at 8:30pm. He might see something or think of something and he has to deal with it. When he's got something on his mind he deals with it there and then and tries to front-load it, so when it comes to game-time he's on.

"Even with his preparation, he does it all through the week and when it comes to game time he's hoping he's done everything through a week's prep, so the game looks after itself.

"When he gets holidays he turns off, but when it's footy season, even on a bye-week, I know he's thinking about something or watching something and seeing how it can relate to our game or club and make something better."

Liam Wright - Queensland Reds: "To me Hoops is the epitome of having your own backyard in order and leading from the front. Congrats on 150, mate.

Allan Alaalatoa - Brumbies: "Hoops is one of those players you just love playing with and hate playing against.

"He is one of the hardest working players I've played with.

"He's a great leader who always leads by his actions and off the field he's a good bloke.

"He's been a great ambassador for our game here in Australia and I'm sure he's got plenty of more Super games left in the tank."