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Wallabies captain Michael Hooper withdraws from tour due to 'mindset'

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Captain Michael Hooper withdrew from the Wallabies Rugby Championship Test against Argentina 24 hours before kick-off, saying he was not in the “right mindset” to lead or represent his country.

The tireless Flanker had been named to lead the team in the 122nd Test on Sunday morning (AEST) but missed two games against the Pumas before returning to Australia. Fellow Test Centurion James Slipper will captain Mendoza, and Fraser McKreit will replace Hooper in the number 7 jersey.

“This decision wasn’t taken lightly, but I know it’s the right one for me and the team at this point,” Hooper said in a statement. However, with the current way of thinking, I feel that I am unable to fulfill my responsibilities at this time.”

Speaking to his teammates ahead of the announcement, Hooper said he had the utmost confidence in the team that they could win the test against Argentina without him.

Coach Dave Rennie said the 30-year-old captain showed “true courage”.

“Michael is one of the most professional and impressive men I have coached and I know this was a difficult decision for him. We will support him as much as we can and the team will focus on getting the job done tomorrow.”

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said there were no signs throughout Hooper’s agonizing week. , obviously he’s having a bit of a hard time and he’s hiding it pretty well,” Lenny told reporters in Argentina.

“Obviously, he’s been able to keep things down over the past few weeks, so we weren’t aware of anything, but he was very professional and was able to get down to business.

“It took a great deal of courage for him to speak to the team today and let them know he wasn’t okay and that he felt it was best for himself and the team to go home.” It was an easy decision to go home, where he can have a lot of support around him.”

Hooper reached out to Wallabies team doctor Sharon Flahive to set the wheels in motion for his return home. He returns to Sydney with Waratahs teammate Dave Polecki. Dave Polecki will miss both tests after hitting his head in training.

Hooper has been a regular part of the side since making his debut in 2012, captaining Australia in a 2–1 home defeat to England.

The Wallabies have a difficult schedule in the coming months. After his two Tests in Argentina, they returned to Australia for a Rugby Championship Test against reigning world champions South Africa and his two Test series against New Zealand, which will be held in France next year. Trying to build momentum for the Rugby World Cup.

“Michael is an incredible leader. matter and Rugby Australia and the Australian rugby community will do everything to support him and his family.”

Hooper left Australian rugby last year to take a six-month sabbatical to play in Japan’s top league. Missed.

Hooper returned in the second half of the 2021 Super Rugby Pacifica season and led the Wallabies with their usual confidence in the recent home series against England, but Hooper has suffered in the past from the stresses of professional sports, the pressure of leadership and the pressures of leadership. I’ve spoken openly about the impact of social media on young players.

Hooper has told the media in the past, “I try to do the best I can, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. When it doesn’t work out, it’s hard to deal with.” I think it’s important to educate people how to deal with it.

“Players are getting a lot better at talking to each other about it,” Hooper said. And we see a lot of constant attacks on our jobs every day, every day.”