Hooper says: “My whole career I’ve looked to put the team first and I don’t feel I am able to fulfil my responsibilities at the moment in my current mindset.” – watch Australia play Argentina live on Sky Sports Action from 8pm on Saturday
Last Updated: 05/08/22 10:58pm
Michael Hooper has withdrawn from Australia’s Rugby Championship clash with Argentina on Saturday and will return home after telling head coach Dave Rennie he is not in the right frame of mind to play.
The 30-year-old Australia captain had been selected in the team but will now depart for personal reasons, with prop James Slipper to lead the side and Fraser McReight to take Hooper’s No 7 jersey.
Australia’s game with Argentina in Mendoza is live on Sky Sports Action on Saturday, with build-up beginning at 8pm ahead of an 8.10pm kick-off.
In a statement released by the Wallabies, openside flanker Hooper said: “While this decision did not come easily I know it is the right one for me and the team at this point in time.
“My whole career I’ve looked to put the team first and I don’t feel I am able to fulfil my responsibilities at the moment in my current mindset.”
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Wallabies coach Rennie said of Hooper, who has scored 110 points in 121 Tests: “Michael’s one of the most professional and impressive men I’ve coached. I know this has been a difficult decision for him.”
“He’s shown true courage by acknowledging where he is at and acting on it. We will support him in any way we can and I know the team will be focused on getting the job done [on the field].”
Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos said: “Michael is an incredible leader, it takes a brave man to identify where he’s at and come forward whilst having the best interests of the team at heart.
“His wellbeing is and remains the highest priority right now where Rugby Australia and the Australian Rugby community will do everything to support him and his family.”