Michael Hooper (rugby union)

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Michael Hooper
2017. Australia Fair (35370277435) (cropped).jpg
Hooper with the Wallabies in 2017
Full nameMichael Kent Hooper
Date of birth (1991-10-29) 29 October 1991 (age 29)
Place of birthManly, New South Wales, Australia
Height180 cm (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Weight101 kg (223 lb; 15 st 13 lb)[2]
SchoolSt. Pius X College
UniversityMacquarie University
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker
Youth career
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2013 Manly 1 (20)
Correct as of 3 August 2013
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2015 Sydney Rays 0 (0)
2021 Toyota Verblitz 0 (0)
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
2010–2012 Brumbies 31 (25)
2013– Waratahs 121 (110)
Correct as of 29 August 2020
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Australia U20
Correct as of 5 December 2020

Michael Kent Hooper (born 29 October 1991) is an Australian professional rugby union player who is the captain of the Waratahs in Super Rugby and the Australia national team, the Wallabies.[3] His playing position is openside flanker.

Junior career[edit]

Hooper was born on 29 October 1991 in Sydney, and played his junior rugby at the Manly Roos alongside other future Wallabies such as George Smith.[4] Hooper represented Australia under 20 at the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship.[5] Where he captained the side at times and was named International Player of the Tournament.

Rugby career[edit]

Super Rugby[edit]

Hooper made his Brumbies debut in 2010, as stand-in for the injured George Smith.[3]

After a breakout season for the Brumbies in 2012, he was signed by the New South Wales Waratahs where he begun the 2013 season.[6] 2013 was a standout year for Hooper who won many accolades including Brumbies best forward, Australian Rugby Union Rookie of year and was placed third for the John Eales medal after playing less than half of the polling games.

In 2013, Hooper played every Waratahs Super Rugby game in the season and he won the Australian Super 15 player of the year award, as well as the Waratahs player of the year award.[7][8]

On 1 March 2014, Hooper was named captain for the Waratahs' clash with the Queensland Reds after team regular Dave Dennis was ruled out of the game due to injury following the Waratahs' first game of the 2014 season against the Western Force. He led the Waratahs to their 32-5 win over the Reds at ANZ Stadium. He went on to play all of the games remaining in the Waratahs' 2014 season including the Grand Final against the Crusaders which he was the captain for, leading the team to a 33–32 win at ANZ Stadium.

Top League[edit]

In August 2020 it was announced that Hooper had signed to play for the Japanese Top League club Toyota Verblitz for the 2020–21 season,[9] marking his first serious move to play domestic rugby outside the Super Rugby since starting his career with the Brumbies in 2010.

International career[edit]

Hooper passing the ball against Scotland.

On 5 June 2012, Hooper made his international debut for Australia, coming off the bench (in the 65th minute) against Scotland in Newcastle.[10] Following a knee injury to regular flanker and captain David Pocock, Hooper started in every Test game until the final Spring-Tour game (and Nathan Sharpe's final Wallabies game) against Wales in Cardiff, where he started from the bench to make-way for David Pocock. Hooper won Wallabies 'Rookie of the year' award at the annual John Eales Medal awards evening event.[11]

In 2013, when David Pocock suffered a season-ending knee injury; Hooper played in all of the Wallabies Test matches and had an outstanding year, winning the John Eales Medal as 'Wallabies player of the year'.[11]

In 2014, Pocock suffered another season-ending knee injury and in Ewen McKenzie's second year as Wallabies coach, McKenzie named Hooper as vice-captain with his Waratahs team-mate Adam Ashley-Cooper and his former Brumbies team-mate Stephen Moore was named as Australia captain for the 2014 three-test June series against France.[12] However, when captain Stephen Moore left the field with a knee injury in the 5th minute, Hooper took over the captaincy for the rest of the game. During the game, he scored a try in the first half and he had a strong performance against France in the Wallabies' 50-23 win at Suncorp Stadium.[13] Hooper was rated was one of the best players on the field during the game by Iain Payten of foxsports.com.au and was also labelled 'the Energizer Bunny of world rugby'.[14]

Following the season-ending injury to Stephen Moore during the first test of 2014 against France in Brisbane, Hooper was named as Wallabies captain for the rest of the 2014 Test-season, meaning that he was the Wallabies 82nd Test captain and the youngest player (age 22, 223 days) to captain the side since Ken Catchpole (age 21, 354 days) in 1961.[15][16][17][18]

Following another strong 2015 Super Rugby season, Hooper was awarded the Peoples Choice - Wallaby of the Year at the John Eales Medal awards night for the second year in a row.[19] He also kept his starting position safe, forcing David Pocock into Number 8 after returning from injury.[20] He was also selected in the 31-man 2015 Rugby World Cup squad.[21]

In 2016 Hooper was again awarded the John Eales Medal, the 4th player to have won it a second time.[22]

Personal life[edit]

His father is from Kent, England.[23] Michael grew up in Collaroy on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.


  1. ^ https://www.rugby.com.au/players/michael%20hooper#Rugby-World-Cup
  2. ^ https://www.rugby.com.au/players/michael%20hooper#Rugby-World-Cup
  3. ^ a b "Wallabies Player Profile". Australian Rugby Union. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  4. ^ http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/super-hooper-is-his-masters-shadow/story-e6frey4i-1225845487252
  5. ^ "Australian Under 20s Named for JWC". Australian Rugby Union. 10 May 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  6. ^ Dutton, Chris (18 April 2012). "Brumbies respect Hooper's defection". Canberra Times. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Michael Hooper, Israel Folau, Jake White win Super Rugby player, rookie and coach of year awards". ABC News. Australian Associated Press (AAP). 8 August 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  8. ^ Warren, Adrian (29 August 2013). "Michael Hooper beats out Israel Folau for Matthew Burke Cup as NSW Waratahs Players' Player". The Daily Telegraph. Sydney. AAP. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  9. ^ Robinson, Georgina (26 August 2020). "'Great opportunity': Hooper heading to Japan in 2021". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  10. ^ Growden, Greg (29 August 2013). "Solid Scottish mudpack leaves Wallabies bearing". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  11. ^ a b Robinson, Georgina (25 October 2013). "Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper wins 2013 John Eales Medal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Moore to Captain Qantas Wallabies, Hooper and Ashley-Cooper named as Vice-Captains". Australian Rugby Union. 2 June 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  13. ^ Tucker, Jim (8 June 2014). "Wallabies score seven tries to thump France 50-23 in first Test at Suncorp Stadium". Fox Sports. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  14. ^ Payten, Iain (8 June 2014). "Who starred and who stank from the Wallabies massive win over France". Fox Sports. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  15. ^ Robinson, Georgina (9 June 2014). "Michael Hooper appointed Wallabies captain". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  16. ^ Tucker, Jim (9 June 2014). "Michael Hooper confirmed as Wallabies skipper following Stephen Moore's season-ending injury". Fox Sports. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Qantas Wallabies Flanker Michael Hooper to Captain Australia" (Press release). Australian Rugby Union. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  18. ^ Conroy, Jamie (10 June 2014). "Super Hooper becomes youngest Aussie skipper in 50 years". New South Wales Waratahs. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  19. ^ "Israel Folau becomes first player to win consecutive John Eales Medals". www.rugby.com.au. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  20. ^ "GAGR Exclusive: Prepare for the POOPER". Green and Gold Rugby. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  21. ^ "Cheika names 31-man Wallabies Squad for Rugby World Cup". www.rugby.com.au. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  22. ^ "Wallabies vice-captain Michael Hooper scores second prestigious John Eales medal". ABC News. Sydney. Australian Associated Press (AAP). 27 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  23. ^ Robinson, Georgina (9 March 2013). "Dad's the word". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 September 2015.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
David Pocock
Australian national rugby union captain
2014–2019; 2019–present
Succeeded by