Wallabies captain Michael Hooper has left Argentina to return home to Sydney, citing personal reasons.
Hooper who has been a mainstay for the Wallabies since making his debut in 2012 was expected to once again lead them out against Los Pumas later today.
Speaking to the media Hooper said, “While this decision did not come easily I know it is the right one for me and the team at this point in time,” said Hooper, 30.
“My whole career I’ve looked to put the team first and I don’t feel I am able to fulfil my responsibilities at the moment in my current mindset.”
🦘 All the best Hoops. We’re right behind you mate.
— Wallabies (@wallabies) August 5, 2022
Head coach Dave Rennie backed his skipper as he highlighted that the team is stands with Hooper.
“Michael’s one of the most professional and impressive men I’ve coached – I know this has been a difficult decision for him.
“He’s shown true courage by acknowledging where he is at and acting on it.
“We will support him in any way we can, and I know the team will be focused on getting the job done tomorrow.” Rennie concluded.
Higher up in Australian Rugby, CEO Andy Marinos also lent his support to Hooper’s decision to leave the squad.
“Michael is an incredible leader, it takes a brave man to identify where he’s at and come forward while having the best interests of the team at heart.
“His wellbeing is and remains the highest priority right now where Rugby Australia and the Australian Rugby community will do everything to support him and his family.”