Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Hooper set for 7s debut in Los Angeles

Record-breaking Wallabies captain Michael Hooper has all-but-confirmed his rugby sevens debut will come in Los Angeles.

Hooper, who is the most-capped Wallabies skipper and boasts 125 Tests in total for Australia – watched the side finish tenth in Vancouver from the sideline.

Overlooked for last year’s 15-man World Cup, the flanker committed to the code’s Olympic alternative with the hope of playing at the Paris Games in July.

“It’s a long road to get back, but this was always the goal, LA,” he told Stan Sport.

“I’ve had a good taste of it (watching) in Vancouver  and I’m really keen to get out after being so close to getting out on the field, just have to tick a few boxes then we’ll see how we go.”

Niggles and general conditioning requirements have ensured a steady transition for the 32-year-old, who in 2020 became the youngest player in world rugby to reach 100 Tests.

If selected for the United States leg he’d have four tournaments to prove himself before Australia’s team is selected for Paris.

The 2022 World Series champions rate as one of many medal threats in a wide-open field after making two finals from four events this season.

“(125 Test caps) is a lot in that world, but it doesn’t mean much in this, I’m starting to notice,” Hooper said.

“I know how to pass, how to tackle. But it’s a different game altogether.

“Someone said to me once, ‘You’re no longer a rugby player, you’re an athlete’. I’m starting to understand what that means.

“I don’t think anything can prepare you for what’s to come when you first take the field.”

The Australians dropped to fifth from third on the World Series ladder on Monday after a tenth place finish in Vancouver, starved of possession in a 24-7 loss to South Africa.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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