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Hooper is staying in Australia until 2018 at least.
Hooper is staying in Australia until 2018 at least.
Image: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Michael Hooper going nowhere as he signs on for another three years in Australia

23-year-old Hooper has 42 test caps for his country.
Jun 11th 2015, 1:12 PM 3,535 12

MICHAEL HOOPER IS bucking the trend of Australian rugby stars heading to Europe after the World Cup, by signing a new three year deal.

Hooper has committed his future to both Australia and reigning Super Rugby Champions the Waratahs until the end of 2018 at least, after several high-profile Aussies plan to play in Europe after the World Cup.

Will Genia, James Horwill and Adam Ashley-Cooper have all signed deals abroad, while Quade Cooper is locked in a dispute between the ARU and Toulon, after signing a letter of intent with the European champions.

But 23-year-old Hooper, who already has a staggering 42 test caps to his name will remain with the Waratahs for another three seasons at least.

With players who have fewer than 60 caps ineligible for Australian selection once they move abroad, Hooper says maintaining his international future was key to signing a new deal.

“The opportunity to play for my country is something I am very passionate about, and is a huge reason why I wanted to commit beyond my current term,” Hooper said.”I am just stoked to be in this position. To be able to stay here in Australia allows me represent my country, state, club, and all of the people who have supported me since I began playing rugby as a junior.

“For me, that is what being a Wallaby is all about and the greatest honour we have as players. It is something we always cherish and never take for granted.”

Hooper was handed the captaincy by the Wallabies last year, but the return to fitness and form of David Pocock is expected to give head coach Michael Cheika a major selection headache for the number seven jersey.

Cheika says Hooper is an example all young Australian players should follow.

“Michael plays the game with the passion and intensity that we want the Wallabies to be known for,” he said.

“I am very pleased for him, as I know he’s worked extremely hard to put himself in this position and doesn’t take his opportunities for granted.”

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Neil Treacy

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