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Thread: Michael Hooper signs up for Aussie sevens Olympic bid

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Michael Hooper signs up for Aussie sevens Olympic bid

    Ian Chadband
    AAP
    November 16, 2023 3:52AM

    Michael Hooper has joined Australia's rugby sevens squad in a bid to cap his glittering career with an Olympic gold medal.

    The 32-year-old, who was controversially overlooked by former coach Eddie Jones for the Wallabies' ill-fated World Cup bid, has signed up to play in the newly-revamped global sevens series in the build-up to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

    A four-time winner of the John Eales Medal as the best Wallaby player of the year, the 125-time capped flanker Hooper will join the sevens program full-time in January, and hopes to play his first tournament at the inaugural Perth SVNS event over the Australia Day long weekend.

    A Wallabies' captain on a record 69 occasions, the announcement almost certainly spells the end of Hooper's national ambitions in the 15-a-side game.

    But he says he is looking forward hugely to his new challenge in what he called a "massively exciting year with the Olympics on the horizon".

    "The transition is something I have thought a lot about and I'm extremely motivated by the challenge of playing sevens and trying to earn my way into this team," Hooper said in a Rugby Australia statement.

    "I've started making a few changes to my training in preparation and can't wait to get started in January.

    "I'd like to thank John Manenti (the Australian men's sevens coach) and Scott Bowen (the national performance manager for sevens) for the opportunity to join the program."

    Australia's men's team have already qualified for the Olympics which will be held at the Stade de France in Paris in July.

    Manenti was delighted by the signing, saying: "Michael is an outstanding rugby player and a great leader, so we're thrilled to have him join our program.

    "We know he's got a strong skillset for Sevens and a big engine and we're looking forward to helping him transition quickly to the format.

    "He is a player with big-game experience and to have someone like Michael in our set-up can be a point of difference for us next year."

    The Australian team start their SVNS series campaign on December 2-3 in Dubai, before visiting Cape Town, Perth, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Singapore and Madrid on the road to Paris.

    Hooper was most recently seen in action for the Eddie Jones-coached Barbarians in the defeat against Wales in Cardiff, where he looked sharp in what was only an invitation affair.

    https://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/ru...bid-c-12570249

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    cool. he works hard through a game, and is no slouch (but not a speedster). He also seagulls a bit, so it will be interesting to see how he has to change his training and gameplay.

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    That was a great article. Fitting farewell. Criticisms that came Hooper's way we're about whether he is a genuine 7 & aspects of his positional play. Aspects that will generally be suited to 7's. No doubt he'll adjust his preparation and work his arse off. The things he wasn't don't include leadership and setting an example. That was a ridiculous statement.

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    I believe the "statement" was more around that he was a. injured and b. half an eye on retirement, ie distracted.
    I don't take it to mean he suddenly became some degenerate narcissistic arsehole, just that he may not have been 100% "eyes on the prize", which, when balanced against a couple of others already carrying injuries, was judged to be too many for a limited Squad.
    I am devil's advocating, but I do think things got driven a bit out of context by the media and particularly in an attempt to "pile on" the Jones story.
    I'm yet to see any evidence that Hooper was fit to play against Wales and I don't think his mentoring is that great it justified carrying as a water boy.
    It is a sad end to his XV's, but that doesn't mean it was unjustified.

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    In terms of 7's, I think we'll see him commence by playing second halves of matches and then over time starting and running until his legs go.
    He will have an awesome presence around the breakdown and (pending aerobic capacity) will be a far bigger physical presence/threat than most opposition will have encountered.

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    Champion andrewg's Avatar
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    Way too slow to play 7s.
    Taking the place of another young player.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg View Post
    Way too slow to play 7s.
    Taking the place of another young player.
    But he'll be great for leadership and setting an example...

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Well what a sad state of affairs. RA just sacked a coach for not knowing how to select for RWC, when he actually did. And now we've got a 7's coach who doesn't know how to select for that format. I blame RA.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    But he'll be great for leadership and setting an example...
    but he might not be that interested in winning......

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    C'mon the

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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    but he might not be that interested in winning......
    Technically that is "an example" though

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Hooper set for first rugby sevens outing in Perth
    Melissa Woods
    AAP
    November 21, 2023 2:32PM


    Former Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper is set to make his rugby sevens debut in Perth in January after being official confirmed in the Australian men's squad.

    After being overlooked for the Wallabies' disastrous Rugby World Cup campaign earlier this year, the 125-Test veteran set his sights on a new challenge and is targeting a spot in the sevens team for 2024 Olympics in Paris.

    Now 32, Hooper, who has only played in one sevens tournament as a teenager, will spend the next few months getting up to speed and will miss the first two rounds of the World Sevens Series in Dubai (December 2-3) and Cape Town (December 9-10).


    The former flanker is set to make his first appearance in the third round in Perth from January 26-28.

    The 16-man Australian squad, named on Tuesday, will use the season to prepare for the Paris Olympics in July, after qualifying earlier this year.

    Nick Malouf has returned as captain following an injury-disrupted 2022-23 season, while Henry Hutchison is back after almost a year sidelined with a knee injury.

    Ben Dowling will chase Olympic selection after a season with the NSW Waratahs while impressive winger Hadley Tonga is fresh into the program after recently finishing year 12.

    Queenslander Hayden Sargeant, who made his debut in round six in Los Angeles this year, and Michael Icely, who won the 2023 Ken Catchpole award as best player in Sydney's Shute Shield, have both been included on full-time contracts for the first time.

    "I am thrilled with the group we have," coach John Manenti said in a statement.

    "We are starting to build some real consistency with the core of the group, while adding quality through some new faces.

    "I am over the moon to be able to welcome back Henry Hutchison into the playing squad - an ACL injury always tests a player's resolve to come back, and Hutch'has worked his tail off to get back.

    "Hadley is one of the most exciting young players in rugby - he is super-fast and extremely elusive. He's only young, but I think he can make a real impact this year."

    In a revamped competition, the squad will play eight rounds of the world series with the last in Madrid from May 31 to June 2, which is a "winner takes all" final as well as a promotion-relegation battle for the bottom four teams.

    The 12-nation competition will be cut to eight after the penultimate round in Singapore from May 3-5, with those teams playing the top four of the second-tier challenger series to win a place in the major league.

    The Australian men finished fifth in the 2022-23 standings, with New Zealand crowned champions.

    Australian men's sevens squad: Ben Dowling, Dally Bird, Dietrich Roache, Hadley Tonga, Hayden Sargeant, Henry Hutchison, Henry Paterson, James Turner, Josh Turner, Matt Gonzalez, Maurice Longbottom, Michael Hooper, Michael Icely, Nathan Lawson, Nick Malouf (c), Tim Clements.

    https://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/ru...rth-c-12631006

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg View Post
    Way too slow to play 7s.
    Taking the place of another young player.
    there is always room in a 7's team for a defender

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    Quote Originally Posted by brokendown gunfighter View Post
    there is always room in a 7's team for a defender
    It will take awhile to adjust from loitering on the Wing though...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    It will take awhile to adjust from loitering on the Wing though...
    Credit where it's due time, Hoops made light of this perception during the SVNS Preview on Stan.
    A good show if you haven't caught it yet, think it came out last week, only just spotted it.

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