Hooper eyeing off maiden men's Olympic medal after Sevens transition

Wed, Nov 15, 2023, 9:41 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies legend Michael Hooper is looking to deliver the men's program their first Olympic medal. Photo: Getty Images
Wallabies legend Michael Hooper is looking to deliver the men's program their first Olympic medal. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies legend Michael Hooper is looking to deliver the men's program its first Olympic medal as he prepares for a new challenge.

Hooper's move to the seven-a-side format was confirmed on Thursday, set to join the program at the start of next year.

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It will give him six SVNS events to press his claims for July's Paris Olympics, with his Sevens career potentially starting in Perth on January 26-28.

Whilst the women claimed gold in Rio, the men's side have never finished higher than seventh at the Olympics.

"It would be an amazing experience," Hooper said about the Olympics on The Today Show.

"There is so much water under the bridge to get into that environment. I've trained with these guys. They are hungry and 22 and can run forever.

"I'm one of the bigger guys in the team which is very unusual. It should be great."

The 32-year-old is one of the most decorated players in Australian Rugby history, winning four John Eales Medals and is the most capped Wallabies captain.

However, he enters the Sevens program as a rookie, having only played in one tournament for Manly as a teenager towards the start of his career.

"A lot of running. The most I've ever seen," Hooper said on the differences between Sevens and 15s.

"I start in January. (The) first competition will be in Perth, end of that month. That's a new challenge.

"I've done 15s for so long and played in the Wallaby jersey so long, but to play in a Sevens tournament and (the) potential to go to the Olympics, it is exciting stuff."

The opening SVNS event will kick-off in Dubai on December 2-3 before heading to Cape Town a week later.

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