Hooper welcomes rivalry with Pocock

 Oct 24,2012
Written by: Editor

Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper is relishing the prospect of doing battle with David Pocock for Australia's number seven jersey.

The 20-year-old has made tremendous strides since his Test debut in the Wallabies' loss to Scotland in June and was one of his country's best players during the recent Rugby Championship.

Several rugby enthusiasts believe he should be an automatic selection for the Wallabies' starting XV for their upcoming tour to Europe, even when Pocock is declared fit for selection.

Pocock is expected to be included in coach Robbie Deans' squad and should return to action during the latter stages of the tour but could be moved to number eight to accommodate Hooper.

Deans will be faced with a difficult choice and Hooper admits that neither player will be happy to spend time on the replacements bench.

"It does pose a nice problem for Robbie but I know both David and I want to play as much time as possible," he told Sportal.

"I don't think either of us will be content with 40 minutes each.

"I'd love to stay on the field as long as possible and he is the same.

"But whatever is best for the team we will have to accommodate.

"I enjoy playing with Dave. He's an outstanding player."

Hooper, who moves to the Waratahs from the Brumbies next season, has impressed since taking over the openside flanker's role after Pocock sustained a knee injury in the Wallabies' opening Rugby Championship clash against the All Blacks.

"It's been a great experience," he said.

"Like every player you want to get a bit of time and I've been lucky to play 80 minutes every start I've got," he said.

"I am feeling comfortable there now. I'm really enjoying it."

After ending the New Zealand's winning streak with an 18-all draw in Brisbane last weekend Hooper believes the Wallabies are capable of clean-sweeping France, England, Italy and Wales.

"We took a lot out of beating Argentina (in the Rugby Championship) and even more out of getting a draw with the best team in the world," he said.

"I felt like we could have won that at many stages and the team will take heaps of confidence from it.

"Four from four on the spring tour would be great. We are going to go for that and we think we can do it."

Tags: International |  Australia | 

From The Sideline