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Michael Hooper to captain Australia in Stephen Moore absence

Updated: Monday, 09 Jun 2014 08:49 | Comments

Hooper is McKenzie's fourth Test captain since he replaced Robbie Deans in the job less than a year ago
Hooper is McKenzie's fourth Test captain since he replaced Robbie Deans in the job less than a year ago

Openside flanker Michael Hooper has been elevated to the Australian rugby team's captaincy after hooker Stephen Moore was ruled out for the season due to a knee reconstruction.            

The 22-year-old Hooper had been widely expected to take the role after Moore tore his anterior and medial cruciate ligaments in his left knee in the opening minute of the Wallabies' 50-23 victory over France in Brisbane on Saturday.            

Hooper, who had been appointed by coach Ewen McKenzie as one of his two vice-captains before the three-Test series with France, led the side at Lang Park when Moore limped off.             

"It's a massive honour to captain your country and I'm confident Michael has all the right leadership qualities to lead this team moving forward," McKenzie said in a statement.

"I couldn't have been more impressed with his performance on the weekend after Stephen went down, so we know the added responsibility won't impact the high-level of play we all expect from him each week."             

Hooper is McKenzie's fourth Test captain since he replaced Robbie Deans in the job less than a year ago.             

He dumped Queensland Reds captain James Horwill on the end of season tour last year and replaced him with loose forward Ben Mowen.            

Mowen was not considered for the squad this season, having elected to pursue his rugby career overseas at the finish of the ongoing Super Rugby season.             

Moore then held the job for less than a week and his first Test in charge lasted less than a minute, prompting Australia's media to call the job a 'poisoned chalice' for players selected to the role.     

Moore's injury revives grisly memories of 2012, when Horwill (hamstring), then replacements David Pocock (knee) and Will Genia (knee), were blighted by serious injuries after being appointed to the role by former coach Deans.

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