Michael Hooper, the captain of the XV of Australia, will not play the Rugby Championship match against Argentina on Saturday (9:10 p.m.). He decided to retire to protect his sanity. Hooper will fly home from Mendoza (Argentina), after telling his teammates that he doesn’t have the mindset to play for his country let alone lead it.
” Although this decision was not easy to make, I know that it is the right one for me and for the team at this precise moment.said the Australian captain, in a press release from his federation. My whole career I have sought to put the team first, but I don’t feel capable of fulfilling my responsibilities at the moment in my current state of mind. »
“We will give him all the support possible”
Hooper’s decision has been called ” brave by Dave Rennie, the Australian coach. ” It’s very professional of him., he added. (…) He addressed the team today, which took a lot of courage, and let them know he was not well, and he thought it was better for him and for the team let him go home. (…) Everyone respects him for that and we will give him all the support he needs. »
Personal problems for several weeks
According to Rennie, Hooper has been struggling with personal issues for several weeks now and he ended up talking to the team doctor about it. ” He may have bottled up some things the past few weeks and we certainly weren’t aware of anything said Rennie.
Andy Marinos, the Australian Federation’s chief executive, said Hooper’s health was a priority and there would be no pressure on him to return to the pitch. Prop James Slipper will replace Michael Hooper as captain, while Fraser McReight will take his place in third row.
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