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Thread: Hooper to take the Yen and run

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    Hooper to take the Yen and run

    'Great opportunity': Hooper heading to Japan in 2021

    By Georgina Robinson
    Updated August 26, 2020 7.22pm

    Wallabies captain Michael Hooper is set to move to Japan next year in a deal that will leave the Waratahs without their biggest star.

    Hooper is joining Top League club Toyota Verblitz, where he will link up with former Waratahs assistant coach Simon Cron and former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, in a 'sabbatical' style deal struck with the approval of NSW Rugby and Rugby Australia.

    He could still play for the Waratahs at the back end of next season but will certainly be available for Test duties as the Top League season is set to run parallel with Super Rugby, a source told the Herald.

    Hooper is in the middle of a five-year, $1.2 million a year deal with Australian rugby but appears to have triggered an agreement reached as part of the recent emergency pay renegotiation allowing a select group to chase overseas deals to recoup lost earnings during the COVID-19 crisis.

    Matt Toomua and Dane Haylett-Petty are also eligible for the short-term arrangements but Hooper is the first to have locked one in.

    "This is a great opportunity for me to learn in a new rugby environment and develop a different perspective on the game," Hooper said.

    'The Super Rugby AU competition this year has unearthed some really good young talent and they are all keeping me on my toes.
    Michael Hooper

    "Im really excited in the direction of rugby in Australia both at a Super Rugby level and at the Wallabies too under Dave [Rennie, coach]. The Super Rugby AU competition this year has unearthed some really good young talent and they are all keeping me on my toes."

    Meanwhile, the Waratahs will turn to former Eels second-rower Tepai Moeroa to help save their season despite him playing just nine minutes of rugby this campaign.NSW coach Rob Penney is expected to announce Moeroa as a shock choice at inside-centre for the Waratahs' season-defining clash with Melbourne at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night.

    Moeroa will fill in for veteran dual-code star Karmichael Hunt, who has failed to recover from a hamstring injury that ruled him out of last week's dismal loss to the Brumbies. But rather than hand another chance to Hunt's replacement in that game, Lalakai Foketi, Penney looks set to turn to the former NRL player in the search for some midfield abrasiveness.

    Penney's only other likely change will be welcoming back promising Junior Wallabies back-rower Will Harris. He will be named on the bench after recovering from a high ankle sprain.

    Penney will face questions from fans for starting Moeroa, given the 24-year-old has not featured since a 71st-minute appearance in round one.

    The Cook Islands-born, Sydney-raised centre was a hyped signing from the NRL at the end of last year, having played representative rugby with the Australian Schools before a six-year stint and 112 appearances with the Eels.

    He failed to make an impression after a debut against the Blues in February and has been restricted to one appearance off the bench this season.

    But with Hunt's absence keenly felt in Canberra last week, the NSW coaches believe Moeroa's 190cm, 112kg frame could help the Waratahs get over the advantage line against the Rebels.
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    It will be a season-ending or finals-making clash for both sides, and Melbourne have bragging rights heading into the match after out-enthusing and overpowering the hosts in the team's previous encounter in round four.

    It was a low point of the Waratahs' season but proved the catalyst for a brief purple patch after a bye week.

    But Hunt's absence was telling last week, the Brumbies putting on a four-try second-half carve-up in Canberra to leave the Waratahs in sudden-death territory.

    The Rebels have just as much to lose and will be relying on their pack and game managers to deliver again against NSW.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-u...26-p55pkl.html

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    Snap, posted the same time as X but from a different outlet.

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    Dry July! Ex-Staff MO-vember Donator TWF Contributor!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ham105 View Post
    Snap, posted the same time as X but from a different outlet.
    Sorry mate

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    Quote Originally Posted by .X. View Post
    Sorry mate
    No problemo.

    On the former Six Million Dollar Man I think that rate can no longer be paid for a No. 7. Not a lot of surprise.

    Might also be signs of a new national captain.

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