Stephen Moore appointed Wallabies captain for 2015

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    Stephen Moore will captain Australia at the World Cup. (Photo: Paul Barkley/LookPro)

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    Hooker Stephen Moore has been chosen to lead the Wallabies to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in 2015, getting the nod over his fill in Michael Hooper and Brumbies’ teammate David Pocock.

    Moore lasted just one minute as Wallabies’ captain in 2014, injuring his ACL in the first Test of the season against France and not playing in the gold jersey for the rest of the year.

    He will be hoping for better fortunes in this important season, as the Wallabies play a shortened Rugby Championship and then head over the England for the Rugby World Cup.

    A veteran of 92 Tests, Moore is one of the only Wallabies who commands selection in his position available in the squad.

    Michael Hooper and Adam Ashley-Cooper have been named as the team’s vice-captains.

    Michael Cheika said Moore was the right man to lead Australia to the World Cup.

    “Having spoken to the two vice-captains prior to Stephen, both of them couldn’t have made a higher endorsement of Stephen to the lead them personally, this playing group and our country.

    “Leadership is going to be a massive part of this journey, and both Adam and Michael will have a big part to play in supporting Stephen.

    “Stephen is not only a player who leads by example on the field, but he is a man who exemplifies the qualities of a Wallabies captain and it is a testament to his character that he has been able to overcome a setback and put himself in a position to lead his country again.

    “He has a tremendous amount of respect not only from within this playing group, but across the board in our organisation and universally within the game.”

    Moore became the Wallabies’ 81st Test captain when he led the team out last year, and said he was humbled at the opportunity to lead Australia again.

    “It’s an honour every time you get to wear the Wallabies jumper, and to be captain is extra special, but ultimately it’s what you do with it that is most important.

    “It was extremely humbling to have the opportunity last year but it went very quickly, so to be given another chance to represent this group that has so many leaders is a privilege, and something I hold dearly.

    “Australian Rugby is lucky to have many good leaders in this team who lead by actions and we have already spent some quality time together, defining our identity, what we are about and what we stand for.

    “I’m really excited about what we can achieve in the next four months. It is a very special opportunity for all of us, and it starts in Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on July 18 against the Springboks”

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    The Crowd Says (173)

    • July 6th 2015 @ 2:13pm
      2beersblind said | July 6th 2015 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

      Vice captains Hooper & AAC.. :-/

      • July 6th 2015 @ 3:34pm
        Hello said | July 6th 2015 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

        bugger- I hope that does not mean hooper is in istead of Poey

        • July 6th 2015 @ 5:36pm
          White said | July 6th 2015 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

          Same! However it would have been harsh to drop Hooper from leadership completely as he was captain last year. I am hoping he has been named vice captain as respect for his service last year, but Pocock starts. Don’t forget that Pocock has not been a Wallaby regular for a few years now and Hooper has. Given this, it is probably the correct decision to make Hooper VC over Pocock.

          • July 6th 2015 @ 8:13pm
            PiratesRugby said | July 6th 2015 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

            But Moore only became captain because Pocock, Genia and Howrill were out. And Hooper got a start because of Pocock’s injuries. But after doing an awful job as captain he gets to be vice captain. And if Moore gets injured or goes off? That’s right, Hooper takes over. This entire TRC and RWC campaign is turning into one big Waratah valedictory tour. Let’s see how many Tahs we can squeeze in at the expense of more deserving players. Could you ever have imagined a world where Hooper gets picked before a fit Pocock, and Gill and Smith get left out altogether? And Dennis and Mumm both get picked in a Wallaby squad again???

            • July 6th 2015 @ 9:05pm
              White said | July 6th 2015 @ 9:05pm | ! Report

              I completely agree. I would rather have Pocock as a VC too. But keep in mind that Pocock has never played for Cheika and Hooper has been a favourite of his since he took charge of the Waratahs. In a way Australian rugby is starting to feel the same as it did during the end of the Deans era. Deans was criticized for favouring Waratah players too. I seriously hope Cheika leaves any Waratah bias behind now that his only job is the Wallabies coach. I hope Genia and Cooper (and others) get some time to impress, Smith gets included in the squad after the first two games, and Waratahs players having minimum influence in the line out. We will see though.

              • July 7th 2015 @ 4:32am
                Bakkies said | July 7th 2015 @ 4:32am | ! Report

                Horwill was dropped and I think Genia was too

              • July 7th 2015 @ 1:41pm
                Loosey said | July 7th 2015 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

                I reckon Cheika will wait for Pocock to prove himself(again) before he considers putting him above Hooper. You don’t usually drop your skipper and standout player (yes I understand he plays like a back not a forward) for someone who hasn’t played in years. That being said I hope Pocock blows Hooper to pieces in this two week camp.

              • July 7th 2015 @ 5:54pm
                Ralph said | July 7th 2015 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

                Everyone under pressure to delivery results goes with their known quantities, it is not particular to rugby coaches.

        • July 7th 2015 @ 11:56am
          Rollaway7 said | July 7th 2015 @ 11:56am | ! Report

          You can have your vice captain on the bench, Hooper in for Poe… Now I have heard it all, back to powder puff forwards.

          All black and SA packs are licking their lips for Dennis, Mumm and Hooper.

        • July 7th 2015 @ 12:07pm
          Steve said it said | July 7th 2015 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

          I know a lot can happen in two years, however, when both Moore and AC retire and it will be soon I just thinking that Cheika has just created a problem for himself down the road by continuing to name Hooper as Vice Captain. Poey is still relatively young and he doesn’t strike me as a player who is going anywhere soon unless injured or he decides to play overseas any time soon. The captain issue may come back to haunt him yet especially if he’s looking to Hooper as the next long term captain.

      • July 6th 2015 @ 8:27pm
        Adsa said | July 6th 2015 @ 8:27pm | ! Report

        Yeah, could not think of two players you would not want to back you up off the field, watch your back Squeak!

    • July 6th 2015 @ 2:16pm
      The Electronic Swagman said | July 6th 2015 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

      Thank God it’s Moore although it looks like I’ll have to put up with 20 minutes or so per game with Captain Hooper as referees swat him away like a tennage fly.

      • Roar Guru

        July 6th 2015 @ 4:20pm
        Machooka said | July 6th 2015 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

        @ The Electronic Swagman

        Ha ha… maintain the rage recuperating while swatting those nasty ‘tennage’ flies 🙂

        Congrats to Moore as thoroughly deserved. I’m sure he will do himself, the Wallaby, and all us proud.
        I think it was always in the bag… but thankfully now that Cheika has made public the Wallaby Captain we can all get on with it.
        Also good recognition for AAC in being appointed as one of the VCs… and of course young socks-down but hair now cut Hoops.

        I’m thinking that Hoops will be on the bench for the start… and after the approx. 60 min. mark we’ll see the subbing of the hooker and flanker etc. Seems a sensible move considering the competition in certain positions.
        But Cheika may have other plans… hence he might show his hand come Brisvegas on the 18th against those brutish Bok ?
        Or maybe not !

        • July 6th 2015 @ 5:14pm
          The Electronic Swagman said | July 6th 2015 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

          Gidday Machooka. Yep. never one to stop being annoyed by Hooper. I hope you are right but fear you aren’t. I sense Hooper will be there for the duration and we will get killed, not because of him but because we are so desperately in need of tough tight forwards and loose ones who play tighter. Tight forwards will allow our backs to be expressive. To me, Pocock is clearly the kind of player/leader we need, and anything that suggests Hooper has a leadership role over him makes me nervous. Maybe I should get out more.

    • July 6th 2015 @ 2:16pm
      Freddy from Bondi said | July 6th 2015 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

      Congrats Steve Moore…the obvious choice IMO!

      However, I would have liked to have seen both Hooper and Pocock named as VCs, Im not sure theres a spot in the starting XV for AAC…

    • Roar Guru

      July 6th 2015 @ 2:21pm
      AlBo said | July 6th 2015 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

      Absolutely the right call, however does Hooper as VC suggest he’ll be picked ahead of Pocock? I’m assuming that by picking AAC and Hooper, he expects one of those two to start, or risk having to name another Vice Captain later on.

      Or perhaps I’m just over-analysing.

      On another note, I wonder if Moore and Giteau are back on decent terms?

      • July 6th 2015 @ 3:35pm
        Connor33 said | July 6th 2015 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

        Moore being annoyed with Giteau’s decision against QLD that year. I suspect they’ve had a beer and moved on.

        I’m a bit worried about Hooper being VC, unless Chieka goes with a transparent rotation system between Hooper and Fardy with the other sitting on the bench.

        • Roar Guru

          July 6th 2015 @ 5:09pm
          jeznez said | July 6th 2015 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

          Not sure how much Squeaky moves on – his reaction when asked whether the Brumbies would cheer for the Waratahs after the Canes knocked them out spoke volumes about the depth of bad blood between the Tahs and Brumbies right now.

          I’m glad he is the captain, think he is the correct choice but I would have liked to see a different response since he is going to be leading a significant cohort of the Tahs from here out.

          I find it amusing some people calling Hooper captain divisive yet Moore’s comments don’t seem to have raised a blip on the radar.

          • Roar Guru

            July 6th 2015 @ 5:12pm
            niwdEyaJ said | July 6th 2015 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

            What did Moore say that was so bad?

            • Roar Guru

              July 6th 2015 @ 5:29pm
              jeznez said | July 6th 2015 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

              His response to being asked if the Brumbies would support the Waratahs in their match against was along the lines of ‘we’ll see’. The words aren’t at issue.

              The look on his face and the tone of delivery made it pretty clear that what he meant was ‘no chance’.

              • July 6th 2015 @ 9:44pm
                Sandy B said | July 6th 2015 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

                Give him a break – he’d just lost a SF – he couldn’t care less – they would have been entirely focused on their own task in the landers game and when it was lost…. nothing. We as spectators can switch allegences when our teams are knocked out – don’t expect the participants to do so as well.

              • Roar Guru

                July 6th 2015 @ 11:37pm
                jeznez said | July 6th 2015 @ 11:37pm | ! Report

                When the question is posed, will you support the Aussie team in the next game and you respond ‘yeah, we’ll see’ it sends a dangerous note when you are about to be named captain of players from that other squad.

                I 100% think he was the right choice for captain, but I do worry that two former Brumbies have been named as his deputies. It smacks of bias towards the team from the capital. Especially when you look at the prior captains in Mowen, Pocock, Mortlock and Gregan all being Brumbies as well.

                There seems to be a heavy bias in Brumbies and former Brumbies being selected in leadership positions that everyone seems to ignore. 😀

              • July 7th 2015 @ 12:56am
                Bryan said | July 7th 2015 @ 12:56am | ! Report

                Brumbies just have the best players of course. ..

              • July 7th 2015 @ 4:34am
                Bakkies said | July 7th 2015 @ 4:34am | ! Report

                He is a Qlder he won’t admit to supporting them

              • July 7th 2015 @ 4:35am
                Jono said | July 7th 2015 @ 4:35am | ! Report

                Mountain out of a mole hill. He was asked if he would support the Tahs who hadn’t made the finals and he said, “yeah, we’ll see”, which seems a fine enough answer.

                As for his tone and face, seem more like looking for an issue rather than actually being one.

              • July 7th 2015 @ 6:22am
                Paul said | July 7th 2015 @ 6:22am | ! Report

                Which is exactly the sort of fishing that Hooper is subjected to Jono

              • Roar Guru

                July 7th 2015 @ 10:04am
                PeterK said | July 7th 2015 @ 10:04am | ! Report

                Imagine if it was the other way and Hooper had said we’ll see to hoping the brumbies win their upcoming semi? The accusations and finger pointing of divisiveness would be massive.

              • Roar Guru

                July 7th 2015 @ 11:23am
                jeznez said | July 7th 2015 @ 11:23am | ! Report

                Jono – I immediately copped it from the Kiwi mate I was watching the game with, I can tell you he was laughing at us, particularly when he could point to Smith showing support for his fellow New Zealanders in the same segment.

                I can promise you I’m not being an overly sensitive Tah fan. As Pete says the outcry if Hooper did the same thing would likely be deafening.

                Anyway, I agree with Moore being captain – I’m less comfortable with the choice of vice-captains.

              • July 7th 2015 @ 8:49pm
                Loosey said | July 7th 2015 @ 8:49pm | ! Report

                I think being called a fag*ots about a dozen times got under his skin haha Yeah things are said and done in very game but some things stick. Hopefully they’ll get over it after two weeks of hammering each other.

          • Roar Guru

            July 6th 2015 @ 5:13pm
            PeterK said | July 6th 2015 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

            cause it is popular and acceptable to hate the tahs, it is socially acceptable

            Not sure the bad blood is the other way.

            Tahs were very happy with the brumbies when they beat the stormers, they wished them luck and hoped they would meet in the final.

            • July 6th 2015 @ 7:22pm
              Slamming Sam said | July 6th 2015 @ 7:22pm | ! Report

              It is acceptable even by their own supporters….

          • July 6th 2015 @ 5:27pm
            Jono said | July 6th 2015 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

            This is the second time I’ve seen someone bring this up. When did Moore make these comments?

            • Roar Guru

              July 6th 2015 @ 5:32pm
              jeznez said | July 6th 2015 @ 5:32pm | ! Report

              Immediately after the loss, was the on pitch interview after the Hurricanes won their semi.

              Feel for him being asked about that when his emotions would have been running hot but it really highlighted to me a level of bad blood between the Brumbies and Tahs.

              • July 6th 2015 @ 5:34pm
                Jono said | July 6th 2015 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

                In his post match with Gregan? I don’t remember the Tahs even getting mentioned in that.

              • Roar Guru

                July 6th 2015 @ 6:16pm
                jeznez said | July 6th 2015 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

                No, with the kiwi reporter. Might not have been shown on the Aussie coverage.

              • July 7th 2015 @ 4:35am
                Bakkies said | July 7th 2015 @ 4:35am | ! Report

                There always will be bad blood between the teams

          • Roar Rookie

            July 6th 2015 @ 8:25pm
            Shane D said | July 6th 2015 @ 8:25pm | ! Report

            Why is that divisive? He was playing for the Brumbies at the time & just came off the field after a losing semi-final. He probably didn’t give a rats backside about the ‘Tahs at the time. If the ‘Tahs players hold a grudge because of that then perhaps the whole team needs to have a group hug.

            • Roar Guru

              July 6th 2015 @ 11:39pm
              jeznez said | July 6th 2015 @ 11:39pm | ! Report

              Haven’t heard a thing from the Tahs mate, I’m the one unimpressed.

              • July 7th 2015 @ 7:26am
                ScrumJunkie said | July 7th 2015 @ 7:26am | ! Report

                I was hoping the tahs would lose and get a heap of injuries, cause I hate people in blue. I will support those same blokes when they wear gold though.

              • Roar Guru

                July 7th 2015 @ 11:28am
                jeznez said | July 7th 2015 @ 11:28am | ! Report

                And that is the stuff I just don’t get. I don’t hate any other Aussie team – I’ll barrack for all of them over foreign opposition.

                And it does seem to just be the blue shirt as all the other Aussie teams are more than happy to cheer for NSW players when they wear other jerseys.

                AAC and Hooper are a classic case in point – they didn’t attract a fraction of the when they wore Brumbies colours.

              • Roar Guru

                July 7th 2015 @ 9:30pm
                niwdEyaJ said | July 7th 2015 @ 9:30pm | ! Report

                They weren’t jumping on cars, pulling out signposts and moonlighting with Johnny, Jack and Jim on tour while they were at the Brumbies….

              • July 7th 2015 @ 11:35am
                moaman said | July 7th 2015 @ 11:35am | ! Report

                Jez–I think you are dead right–and not only that but that you have touched upon something that is pretty important and evident to outsiders: namely the acute divisiveness of Australian rugby currently.

                It has to be something that is faced openly and honestly by the Wallabies and their management…or else…..

          • July 6th 2015 @ 9:43pm
            Tommo said | July 6th 2015 @ 9:43pm | ! Report

            I saw that as well Jeznez and it is a concern. Especially when you hear the response from Conrad Smith when asked a similar question ‘ it would be great to have an all kiwi final’. I expect more from our captain.

            • Roar Guru

              July 6th 2015 @ 11:40pm
              jeznez said | July 6th 2015 @ 11:40pm | ! Report

              Yep, Conrad was great straight up that he was willing to play whoever but absolutely wanted success for his countrymen.

              • July 7th 2015 @ 1:54am
                Tommo said | July 7th 2015 @ 1:54am | ! Report

                Our guys seem to allow the media to run how they think with all the petty rubbish. I do think Moore is our best choice though and after paying some attention to how the refs respond to him, there seems an element of respect so i wish him and the boys luck.

            • July 7th 2015 @ 9:53am
              Markus said | July 7th 2015 @ 9:53am | ! Report

              Conrad just won, Moore just got beaten comprehensively. He probably just wanted to answer and get the hell out of there.

              If “Yeah we’ll see” is the worst thing he could say to a pretty poorly timed question, I think he’s going to be fine as a unifying captain. Given the Tahs hadn’t actually qualified yet, “We’ll see” seems the pretty logical response to such a question.

              • Roar Guru

                July 7th 2015 @ 9:58am
                PeterK said | July 7th 2015 @ 9:58am | ! Report

                yes he showed his true feelings rather than give it thought and they were not pro waratah unlike Conrad Smith who put kiwis first, Moore if he put australia first would have uttered well I hope they win it now we can’t.

              • Roar Guru

                July 7th 2015 @ 11:53am
                jeznez said | July 7th 2015 @ 11:53am | ! Report

                Markus – I’m going to stop now as this has had more than enough air. His delivery was a pretty clear cut – no chance in hell – to a question of will you be supporting the other Aussie team still in the comp, now that you have been knocked out.

                A really poor response from the guy about to be re-named as Wallaby captain – but as I have repeatedly stated, I think he is the best choice for the job, my only other candidate if I was selecting would be Pocock.

                I’m a big fan of Hooper’s but he struggles to make my squad if George Smith is in even a fraction of the form he has been reported in. I only have room for a single 7 in my match day 23 (Pocock) and two in the RWC squad of 31 (add Smith).

                McMahon I would consider as a 7 as well, and as a second 7 he offers greater versatility in the 31 man squad and I’d have it a close run thing between him and Hooper (and it would be either or) if Smith is not up to the pace (need to give him a run in the RC to find out).

                AAC would make my squad but would likely be a bench or squad player – Quade Cooper is the guy I would have liked to see returned to the VC in the backs, I think he grew an extra leg the last time he was given responsibility but given he is fighting back from injury I understand why he might not be the automatic choice.

                Anyway, enough about how I would select the team, I’m not the man in charge. I really just wanted to call out what I see as some double standard with a lot of hate directed to Hooper about being divisive, when Moore clearly has issues in this space.

                Hopefully Moore overcomes that and I believe he can.

              • July 7th 2015 @ 1:46pm
                soapit said | July 7th 2015 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

                i’d guess if moore had made the final he would have liked to play and beat the waratahs in it

    • July 6th 2015 @ 2:28pm
      Benny said | July 6th 2015 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

      The only man for the captaincy in my opinion. He is the perfect player to lead the Wallabies come RWC time. One of the few positives going for Australian rugby!

    • Roar Guru

      July 6th 2015 @ 2:35pm
      PeterK said | July 6th 2015 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

      I am assuming this means Moore and Ashley-Cooper are starting with Hooper on the bench and Pocock starting.

      So when Moore gets replaced at the 60 min mark so does Pocock by Hooper and Hooper then is captain.

      This would be the best interpretation.

      The worst is both Moore and Hooper start and Hooper is expected to play 80 mins.

      • July 6th 2015 @ 2:43pm
        ethan said | July 6th 2015 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

        How many VC’s do you know that play off the bench? I hope you’re right Peter, but it may just be wishful thinking.

        • July 6th 2015 @ 2:44pm
          jutsie said | July 6th 2015 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

          pretty sure we have had barnes / AAC to name a few as bench VC’s in the past

        • July 6th 2015 @ 2:55pm
          Browny said | July 6th 2015 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

          Scott Fuglsitaller is VC at the Rebels and usually started on the pine.

          • July 6th 2015 @ 3:09pm
            ethan said | July 6th 2015 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

            I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it would be the minority, and I can’t see any strong evidence yet that suggests Cheika is going to do it.

        • Roar Guru

          July 6th 2015 @ 3:49pm
          Train Without A Station said | July 6th 2015 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

          Phil Waugh was named VC for the 2007 RWC despite Smith preferred as the starter.

          • July 6th 2015 @ 9:46pm
            Sandy B said | July 6th 2015 @ 9:46pm | ! Report

            and that went well…..

      • Roar Guru

        July 6th 2015 @ 4:23pm
        Machooka said | July 6th 2015 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

        @ PeterK

        I think you’ve got it right… Hoops on the bench to start, and then sub in later with a fresh hooker.

        • Roar Guru

          July 6th 2015 @ 5:10pm
          jeznez said | July 6th 2015 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

          Agree, seems logical.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 6th 2015 @ 8:29pm
        Shane D said | July 6th 2015 @ 8:29pm | ! Report

        Not a normal way of doing things. I suppose it has its pluses & minuses. From a positive the VC coming on has the coach in his ear up until he goes on so knows what he needs to change out there. From a negative point of view the VC has to get himself into the game & a reserve should be looking at making an impact not worrying about leading the team as a whole.

      • July 7th 2015 @ 10:51am
        HandsOffBlack7 said | July 7th 2015 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        Could be right here PeterK

        Pocock is an 80 minute player though, and I think he would be a waste on the bench. I would love to see Pocock and Hooper on the field playing left and Right flankers (rather than the traditional open and blind) for the last 20 – 30 minutes of a game. Having two of the top 5 flankers on the field together over the ball would change a game.

        Maybe (hopefully) Cheika will keep this ace up his sleeve for the world cup? There were whispers of G smith joining the squad as an 8 for the cup also. That would be amazing.

        • July 7th 2015 @ 11:19am
          Browny said | July 7th 2015 @ 11:19am | ! Report

          Depending on your on-field locks at the time ie, Simmons and another competent jumper (Horwill, Arnold… Jones if he was in the squad….. maybe Douglas?….if rumours are correct), you could potentially sacrifice the third lineout target to play a back three of Hooper (6), Pocock (7) and Smith (8). geez that would be fun to watch in defense… Pocock plays really tight, smith slightly outside of him and Hooper plays his natural loose game. Would be interesting to see at the very least.

      • July 7th 2015 @ 7:58pm
        Mcchcronicles said | July 7th 2015 @ 7:58pm | ! Report

        I think pocock should play the entire match with hodgson or gill on the bench in case something happens! Hooper is the most overrated player along with Palu….