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Michael Hooper withdraws from first Test

Fri, 05/08/2022, 9:22 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and Rugby AU CEO Andy Marinos have spoken to media after Michael Hooper's withdrawal from tomorrow's Test match.

Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper has withdrawn from the first Test against Argentina due to personal reasons.

The Wallabies confirmed in a statement he will return to Australia, with Hooper stating he does not believe he is in the right mindset to play for his country.

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James Slipper will lead the side in Mendoza tomorrow afternoon (local time), while Fraser McReight will replace Hooper in the number seven jersey.

“While this decision did not come easily I know it is the right one for me and the team at this point in time," Hooper said in a statement

“My whole career I’ve looked to put the team first and I don’t feel I am able to fulfil my responsibilities at the moment in my current mindset.”

“Michael’s one of the most professional and impressive men I’ve coached I know this has been a difficult decision for him," Wallabies coach Dave Rennie added.

“He’s shown true courage by acknowledging where he is at and acting on it.

“We will support him in any way we can and I know the team will be focused on getting the job done tomorrow.”

Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos threw his support behind the decision, with RA and the Wallabies asking to respect his privacy at this time.

“Michael is an incredible leader, it takes a brave man to identify where he’s at and come forward whilst having the best interests of the team at heart," Marinos said.

“His wellbeing is and remains the highest priority right now where Rugby Australia and the Australian Rugby community will do everything to support him and his family.”

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