Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and Rugby Australia have appointed Michael Hooper to lead Australia this international season.
A veteran of 99 Tests, Hooper has been reinstated as Wallabies captain, following the Rugby World Cup in Japan last year.
The 28-year old first captained the Wallabies in 2014, becoming the 82nd player to lead Australia, and the youngest player (age 22, 223 days) to captain the side since Ken Catchpole (age 21, 354 days) in 1961.
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper said: “It’s an absolute honour to be the Wallabies captain and I want to thank Dave, the Wallabies management team as well as Rugby Australia for their support and endorsement.”
“It’s a privilege to wear the Wallabies jersey, I feel proud to lead my teammates and to represent those players that have gone before and all Australians.
“I’m really excited about this group and the direction we are heading. We have already spent some quality time together, defining who we are and what we stand for and what we plan to achieve in the coming months,” Hooper said.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said: “I’ve been really impressed with Hoops. We’ve spoken a lot over the past nine months and it’s highlighted his passion and commitment.”
“He’s a good man with an outstanding work ethic and he’s a great role model for our young men coming through.
“He’s keen to lead, and is highly respected by the Wallaby family. In the end his appointment was a straight forward decision,” Rennie said.
Wallabies legends George Gregan (59) and John Eales (55) are the only two players who have captained Australia on more occasions than Hooper (46).
Ever reliable, Hooper is one of only four players to have twice won the John Eales Medal for Wallabies Players’ Player.
The Wallabies are set to depart for New Zealand on Friday before two weeks quarantine in Christchurch, New Zealand. Australia will then face the All Blacks in two Tests on October 11 at Sky Stadium in Wellington before moving north to Eden Park in Auckland on Sunday October 18.
The Wallabies will then return to Australia for a historic Rugby Championship campaign on home soil, starting on November 7.
Wallaby number: 859
Test debut: 2012 v Scotland, Newcastle
Test caps: 99
Test points: 95 (19T)