I'm a fan of Hoopers from way back but he has not risen to the captaincy role. It's not that it's effected his game but I felt he was more of a leader when he was NOT the captain than now.
But it's not just Hooper, there is a lack of leadership across the board. I am continually surprised that Horwill doesn't step up and try to lead more when he is on the field. Perhaps he is trying not to step on toes and for sure you don't want him trying to assume the role of captain but there are times you want a senior forward (not necessarily the captain) to rally the forwards and it just isn't happening.
Robbie Deans I'm sure has some bones to pick but I think he honestly believes the same thing. From the SMH article on this today:
Over the last 11 years, since blowing out in the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup, the All Blacks stressed the importance of on-field leadership, enabling the players to control their destiny.
"It didn't happen quickly. They thought they were ready to go in 2007 but ultimately they weren't. To win a World Cup you've got to have a captain of substance but he's got to have a support crew. New Zealand have done it very well. You see it routinely, getting home in games late. That's not about directions from the coaches' box. That's those blokes out there."
Deans said "without a doubt" the Wallabies were lacking in this area.
Yeah, I'd love to be a fly on a few walls at the moment. I reckon Bill will overreact to allowing Link to bring his own team in and will seek to impose tighter control. I don't think Cheika could abide that. What's more, he knows Link quite well, doesn't he?
I wouldn't be surprised if there is some falling out in the next day or so and they go on the tour just using their existing assistant coaches.
Forget the World Cup. I'd prefer to get someone on board now who can build long-term than a Band-Aid 'make do' coach to carry us through. I don't hold out much hope at all for the World Cup but want to be sure we are genuinely in a rebuilding phase.