Michael Hooper drops World Cup bombshell after being controversially left out of Eddie Jones’ Wallabies squad
Michael Hooper is still hopeful of appearing at the Rugby World Cup despite his shock axing from the Wallabies squad.
Hooper, 31, was overlooked by coach Eddie Jones for his side’s campaign in France, with the dumped former skipper admitting that he went through a ‘grieving period’ following his omission.
Jones was unconvinced by Hooper’s fitness status heading into the tournament, with the 125-Test star carrying a calf problem, while the former England coach is looking to blood the next generation, with an eye on the 2027 tournament in Australia.
Hooper will be part of Stan Sport’s coverage of the 2023 competition, but is still holding out hope for a late call up and is willing to be a replacement player.
‘This is my final year of my contract, (and the World Cup) really (would have) been a bit of a pinnacle of where my career would be, and finishing up on that note,’ Hooper told WSFM.
Michael Hooper has insisted he is available for selection if needed by Australia
Wallabies coach Eddie Jones overlooked the former skipper for his World Cup squad
‘But hey, I’ve been on the right side of the stick a lot with selection and being involved in teams, and it wasn’t to be this time.
‘I’ve had the whole grieving period and coming out the other side, and now it’s turning into excitement to watch it all kick off and trying to stay fit secretly. So, you know, if there’s a chance, I might be there.’
Hooper added that his calf injury is no longer a concern and he is ready and available if called upon by Jones – although he is comfortable with the reality that he may not be required.
‘There has been significant changes, but he’s got a plan and he’s executing that plan,’ he said. ‘I respect that he’s going after those decisions and making some big calls – that’s his job as coach.
‘He’s putting together a team to do what he wants to do and that’s got to be supported by all Wallabies.’
Hooper will work on Stan Sport for the tournament but says he is ready if there is a pullout
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