Quite possibly the greatest Wallaby of the past fifteen years, long-time captain Michael Hooper has seen it all since making his international debut in 2012.
125 test caps later and the now 31-year-old Hooper was getting set for what would be his international swansong at Rugby World Cup 2023.
Unfortunately for Hooper, a niggling calf strain would call into question his fitness, and this was the reason given by new Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones for his axing from the squad.
Hooper, who will be a member of the Stan Sports team covering the tournament, has now said he is, in fact, fully fit and raring to go should he get the call-up.
“This is the 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.
“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 kickoff and trying to stay fit secretly. So, you know, if there’s a chance, I might be there.”
In Hooper’s absence, 24-year-old Fraser McReight will likely start in the Wallabies number seven shirt, whilst secondrow Will Skelton has been unveiled as the squad’s new captain.