Wallabies captain holding out on new deal

81 Have your say

    Wallabies captain Michael Hooper is keeping Rugby Australia hanging as he weighs up his playing future.

    RA is believed to have tabled a five-year offer to Hooper in the hope of retaining the champion flanker’s services through to the 2023 World Cup in France.

    But with the 26-year-old able to command upwards of a million dollars a season, Hooper says he’d be foolish not to consider other options offshore.

    “I’d be a fool not to give it a bit of thought. It’s what you do,” Hooper said on Friday.

    “It’s like anybody’s job. You’ve got to give a bit of thought to it to get the right outcome.”

    Rugby Australia is eager to make Hooper the face of Australian rugby and the dual John Eales Medallist admits he’s living the dream playing for the NSW Waratahs and Wallabies in his home city.

    “Look, I love playing here in Australia,” Hooper said on the eve of the Waratahs’ Super Rugby match against the Highlanders at Allianz Stadium.

    “Firstly, I’m so lucky to live and play rugby in a city like Sydney and and I think Australian rugby has so much to give – so much to give – and that really excites me.”

    Asked if a five-year deal was too much of a commitment, Hooper said contract talks were “a work in progress still.”

    “Details are being worked through,” he said.

    Despite hoping to keep Hooper for five years, it’s understood the governing body would also be willing to reach a compromise and sign the classy openside flanker for a shoter period.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (81)

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2018 @ 11:07am
      John R said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:07am | ! Report

      Lock him in pls Raelene.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 2:37pm
        Hello said | May 18th 2018 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

        Lock him in for the Waratahs pls Raelene.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 18th 2018 @ 11:15am
      piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:15am | ! Report

      ok bye Hooper

      If you’re not immediately committing to the national side you are not worthy to be captain

      Don’t let the door hit you

      • May 18th 2018 @ 11:51am
        Cynical Play said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:51am | ! Report

        Oh please. Brighten up. It’s the weekend.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 18th 2018 @ 12:00pm
          piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

          Not here it’s not

      • May 18th 2018 @ 12:25pm
        soapit said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

        i think its fair enough that he takes his time on such a long deal. hed be happy to commit now straight away but he maybe hadnt thought much about what he’d be doing in 5 years time.

        whats really weird is RA publicising the offer before it was all agreed on.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 18th 2018 @ 1:30pm
          piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

          Makes sense for any other player, not the captain

          • May 18th 2018 @ 2:19pm
            soapit said | May 18th 2018 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

            still disagree. 5 yrs is a long time and an unusual ask that a player/captain wouldnt have necessarily given thought to before. there has to be a limit on what commitment is asked of people.

            • Roar Rookie

              May 18th 2018 @ 2:26pm
              piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

              I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect your national captain to commit to his nation for the next 5 years.

              Maybe this was a sneaky way of getting rid of him from an anti Hooper faction?

              • May 18th 2018 @ 5:29pm
                soapit said | May 18th 2018 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

                yeah like i said its weird that its all happening in public. was strange when they first announced the offer as well without him having actually agreed to it.

              • May 19th 2018 @ 3:18am
                Cuw said | May 19th 2018 @ 3:18am | ! Report

                @ soapit

                am really not sure about rugger – but in the footy world most of the top players are given 5 year contracts by clubs.

                if u look at the Leos and CR7s and even some others – clubs like to lock them in for some time.

                and when u look at the age of Hooper – i will think if he was in footy it will be a no-brainer to offer 5 year contract.

              • May 19th 2018 @ 7:37am
                soapit said | May 19th 2018 @ 7:37am | ! Report

                cuw im assuming you mean soccer by footy?

                yeah its not too common in rugby union or league.

                probably the amount of money involved for l messi renegotiation becomes a bit redundant at some point.

                perhaps being a contact sport makes them more risk averse?

              • May 20th 2018 @ 8:11pm
                Bakkies said | May 20th 2018 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

                Messi has a massive buyout clause that would make your eyes water.

      • May 20th 2018 @ 1:46pm
        Angus Kennedy said | May 20th 2018 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

        He is negotiating his future and you say that? Retirement is a long, long time. I respect him more for not agreeing to anything but the best possible deal. He is a phenomenal player, somewhat of a rarity in this country. And don’t you support that Ziggy train? Do you actually support the Wallabies? We know where Hooper’s loyalties are.

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2018 @ 11:24am
      PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:24am | ! Report

      I would rather he sign elsewhere than for the wallabies for 5 years anyway.

      2-3 years is the way the Wallabies should be going anyway.

      I think Pocock is better and McMahon just as good but younger there is no need to pay too much nor sign him for too long.

      Failing those 2 Gill could be lured back with the money saved and he provides a more balanced back row anyway.

      • May 19th 2018 @ 7:31am
        Rugnut said | May 19th 2018 @ 7:31am | ! Report

        Absolutely agree PeterK.

        Remember Hooper was one of the faceless Tahs who destroyed McKenzie.

        He has shown very average leadership skills

        Has better players available in the same position

        Lastly he is no threat to opposition sides

        Lastly, he peaked 2 years ago

    • Roar Rookie

      May 18th 2018 @ 11:26am
      Paul D said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:26am | ! Report

      News: “RA tables 5 year deal to Hooper”
      Crowd: “How dare RA table a 5 year deal, far too long. RA has lost the plot”

      News: “Hooper doesn’t sign right away, thinks about a shorter deal”
      Crowd: “How dare Hooper not sign. He’s a traitor!!”

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2018 @ 11:30am
      John R said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report

      Fardy was singing Hoopers praises in his interview on the Fox Sports rugby pod this week.

      Link here is anyone is interested: https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode/?id=197022

      • May 18th 2018 @ 2:39pm
        Hello said | May 18th 2018 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

        Fardy has to, as Cheika would never ever consider him in the future if he bagged Hoops.

        • May 19th 2018 @ 3:20am
          Cuw said | May 19th 2018 @ 3:20am | ! Report

          wont be considered irrespective of what he thinks of Australia or Australia rugger or Australia rugger players or anyone else LOL

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2018 @ 12:09pm
      Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

      I’m an unashamed fan of Hooper but think this is a bad move. Simply because he plays in one of our most easily replaceable positions, and I think the game is moving past the specialist 7.

      Short backrowers are about the only thing we can consistently produce and the game is going to a more twin 6 type style for flankers now.

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 12:14pm
        PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

        RA truly don’t have any foresight nor their finger on the pulse do they?

        It is a gift that Hooper is baulking and it may mean a shorter contract.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 12:24pm
          Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

          The future 7 looks to be a guy more like Leavy. A big bloke who can ball carry as well as jackal and link. Ideally, can jump too.

          Wright and Cusack are of that build and ilk.

          • Roar Guru

            May 18th 2018 @ 12:32pm
            PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

            Or Naisarani

            Or in fact dual blindsiders with both having the hands for linking and both jackaling

            • May 18th 2018 @ 1:29pm
              Cynical Play said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

              A 7 has to be quick off the scrum. Burst speed. Is that Naisarani? He’s and 8 or a 6.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 1:36pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

                Sam Cane isn’t known for his speed off the mark.

                Sean O’Brien isn’t.

                Neither was James Haskell.

                Even Richie wasn’t super quick for most of his career and played the 2011 RWC on one foot.

                All formed integral parts of more successful teams recently. You’re thinking is dated.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 1:41pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

                I think the future is probably of 6 and 8 becoming more homogenised and 6 and 7 becoming more homogenised. I think 7s will still generally be the best on-ballers of the backrow, and the smallest (but guys like Amanaki Mafi are very quick).

                Dan Leavy is 191cm and 107kg, Sean O’Brien is 188cm and 108kg, while Sam Cane is 189cm and 107kg, Francois Louw is 190cm and 114kg.

                I suspect a ‘7’ may eventually have the build of Dempsey, Cusack or Wright. Those three guys jump well at the line out, are dynamic on their feet and can compete for the ball. I can easily see two of them and a Valetini/Timu type being selected in a Wallabies back-row post 2019.

                This is all speaking generally though. If a player is good enough they will still be selected in the position. A few years ago they said that every tennis player would be 190cm+ due to the increased power it gave to serves. Now we have David Goffin who is 180cm and 69kg in the world’s top 10, and Diego Schwartzman is 170cm and only 64kg and is ranked 15 in the world.

                I still think Naisarani is probably more suited to the 6/8 role.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 1:43pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

                Always gotta bring it back to Tennis don’t you Fionn?

              • May 18th 2018 @ 1:48pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

                It’s what I know best 😛 – I’ve played it 5-6 times a week from when I was a small child. Have had a lot more coaches in tennis than rugby, played a lot more tennis than rugby, watched a similar amount to rugby and know the details of tennis a lot better (especially from a coaching and technical perspective).

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 1:50pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

                Jokes aside, our point is basically the same.

                The game has changed and ultimately a good big man will beat a good small man.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 18th 2018 @ 4:27pm
                Paul D said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

                “The game has changed and ultimately a good big man will beat a good small man”

                But a good big man against a great small man is where we often find ourselves though.

                If Hooper, McMahon, Samu, hell even Will Miller were 195cm and 110kg, would we even be discussing Valentini, Cusack, Naisarani, Liam Wright, Dempsey, etc?

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 4:37pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

                I think Miller and Dempsey is the perfect example of a good small man vs a good big man.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 4:48pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

                Are we seriously describing Samu or Miller as ‘great’?

                At this point, no. But Hooper is in his prime. In 3 years he will be 29 whereas Wright will be 23, Valetini 22, Naisarani 26 and Timu 27. And none of those players rely on their speed as much as Hooper does currently.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 2:00pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

                Sad, but true. Same with how big centres have gotten. The game for all body shapes no longer seems true – at least at the upper echelons of the game.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 2:02pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2018 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

                Unavoidable consequence of professionalism unfortunately. In AFL the sub 190cm player has basically been eradicated also. You now have to be an absolute superstar to be even looked at.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 3:38pm
                Dan in devon said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

                Well that is nonsense. The small forward is more important than ever now especially with the high press and the emphasis on locking the small in the forward 50. On the contrary, the days of the out and out big forward has passed. Teams are running and kicking the ball into the open space and the small forward who can run onto the ball and defend the turnover has be come a vital player in the modern game.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 4:03pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

                The small forward today though is far bigger than the small forward of yesteryear. I should have said sub-6ft, not 190cm.

                Of the 18 Full Forwards named for this weekend, 12 are over 195cm and 7 of those 12 are 200cm or taller. Only 1 named is under 191cm.

                Guys like Brereton, Ablett Snr, Dunstall, Capper and Modra were all 190cm or shorter. These guys were the size of what many modern “small forwards” are.

                Look at the shorter players today the the vast majority are near the end of their careers, not recently drafted. Look at the dominant Lions team. They’d regularly run around with Hart, Johnson, McGrath, Power, Akermanis, McRae and the Scott brothers in their 22. The number of shorters players has been reduced dramatically.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 4:26pm
                Dan in devon said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

                Full forwards have a different role in the modern game- the days of a Lockett or Dunstall are gone. Their job is to contest and bring the ball to ground. I don’t know the specifics in regards to numbers, but their are a lot of players who are playing as small midfielders -going forward. What is dead is the two ruckman, where one would rest in the forward pocket etc. I even saw Scott Pendlebury rucking for Collingwood a few weeks ago.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 4:43pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

                Pendles is 191cm though. Back in the era of players were are discussing he would have been tall enough to play in the ruck of a Grand Final team (1cm taller than David Hynes).

                Because of the game change players and roles have homogenized.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 3:49pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

                You say that, Dan, but look at the size of most starting 7s of most of the top teams. Springboks have primarily used Francois Louw. New Zealand use Cane. England have used Robshaw. Ireland use Sean O’Brien and looks like it will be Leavy in the future.

                Why can’t it be a big player ‘who can run onto the ball and defend the turnover’?

              • May 18th 2018 @ 4:18pm
                Dan in devon said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

                I was talking about Train’s comment about AFL footy. As for Australian rugby, the problem is hardly with the 7s or the locks. I just cannot believe the lack of playmakers in the backs. Aside from Beale and his defensive weaknesses, the backs are pedestrian and laborious. Folau is a great catcher and runner but do you see him cutting up defences with a deft pass or a cute kick? I see people talking about Hodge as the next five-eighth. Is that seriously the best Australia can do from the thousands of kids playing rugby? And if people think Foley is a world class five-eighth then the wallabies can pack up and go home. I watched the guy continually kick the ball straight to the English backs during the last tour who, for all their faults don’t lack speed or step. Hooper is out and out class – in defence and attack. If he was in the England playing with Vunipola and Itoje and running off Youngs, Ford and Farrell he would be a superstar of the game.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 4:25pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

                The problems are with 6s/8s first and then with playmakers in the backs second.

                We have virtually no 6s/8s that can both carry and jump at the line out.

                Hooper is already a superstar in the game (but not as good as our other 7, Pocock) in attack especially but defence also (although he misses a concerning number of one on one tackles at times).

                The problem is that a lot of our best playmakers are plying their trade overseas. James O’Connor and Matt Toomua are in England. Last year those two + Beale were in England.

                Imagine England trying to play without Ford and Farrell. It makes a big difference.

                No one thinks Foley is world class except for rabid Tah fans and some SMH authors.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 4:27pm
                Dan in devon said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

                England would still have better playmakers than the wallabies if you took out Youngs, Ford and Farrell.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 9:06pm
                Riddler said | May 18th 2018 @ 9:06pm | ! Report

                I sincerely think Foley is better than ford.. ford maybe on his way out of the English team I think..

              • May 18th 2018 @ 4:43pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

                Maybe, maybe not.

                What would it be, Marcus Smith and Cipriani vs Beale and Foley?

                Not such a gap in class actually.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 18th 2018 @ 7:45pm
                Paul D said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

                Throwing MIller in there was a bit cheeky, but I really rate the guy. And to even play at this level given his size and compete well suggests he’s a pretty gutsy and talented kid.

                He’ll never make it at an international level tough. He’s already punching well above his weight division. He’s more of a great tiny man 😉

                The 2 player who show Great small man is better than a Good big man are really McMahon and Hooper.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 10:40pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:40pm | ! Report

                Pocock is a small bloke too. I think all three of them display it. If any two of them were line out jumpers they’ve be an incredible quality back-row.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 10:41pm
                Dan in Devon said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:41pm | ! Report

                Fionn, Marcus Smith is only 19! Show me a potential Wallaby 5/8th who is only 19? I prefer Henry Slade but that’s probably because I am a Chiefs fan. I cannot for the life of me ever see a Smith/Cipriani combination lining up for England. Comparing that to Foley/Beale is just sheer desperation.

              • May 19th 2018 @ 7:01am
                Fionn said | May 19th 2018 @ 7:01am | ! Report

                So if Ford and Farrell were out it would be who?

                Whoever it is, I don’t think either would be better than Beale (although Foley is another matter).

                They would be comparatively poor, although England would still have better depth.

              • May 19th 2018 @ 6:08pm
                Dan in devon said | May 19th 2018 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

                I would have be more than happy with the Chiefs combination of Simmonds and Hill. Slade could also play flyhalf. Ben Teo at 12 is good for me. Realistically, Cipriani must be next in line for his open play ability. A better option than Foley. Of course a lot of Aussies at the Chiefs. One interestesting one is the prop Alex Hepburn who has been in good form. He played for Perth Spirit and has been at the Chiefs a few years. Amazing what a difference a wonderful coach like Baxter makes to a team.

              • May 19th 2018 @ 6:11pm
                Dan in devon said | May 19th 2018 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

                As for Beale, you are right. He is a wonderful talent. I wonder why he has not been tried at 15 as he played at the Wasps. Cheika is too rigid and stale.

              • May 20th 2018 @ 9:46am
                Fionn said | May 20th 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

                I think Teo looks more like a 13 than a 12 to me. Regardless, however, he’s definitely not a playmaker. He has limited distributing abilities.

                I agree that Beale would be a better fullback.

                Having Toomua and O’Connor back in the Wallabies would solve a lot of our playmaking issues.

              • May 19th 2018 @ 3:25am
                Cuw said | May 19th 2018 @ 3:25am | ! Report

                @ Fionn

                look no further than the Crusaders 3rd row.

                they have pace power and skills .

              • May 19th 2018 @ 3:57pm
                Bakkies said | May 19th 2018 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

                Hamish Watson is 1 metre 80 and he has been immense in Scotland’s big wins recently.

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 3:23pm
        Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

        TWAS,
        Are you jumping on the Gus Cotterel, Cusack/Valentini Band Wagon?
        Finally, Something we agree on.

        The Poms beat us With Haskell a couple of years ago and The Irish Loosies don’t spend a lot of time waiting, they are in it, causing Havoc making stuff get real, real fast.

        I think there is still room for a wide and Loose Hooper Type in a modern team but I believe they need to be wearing the 12 Jersey. Second Playmaker/Busy defender. The service Hunt provided for his few matches The Kiwis have been doing it for years.

      • May 19th 2018 @ 3:49pm
        Bakkies said | May 19th 2018 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

        That’s a myth England went against Scotland and France with no openside and got absolutely schooled at the breakdown. They get away with it against the Wallabies as Hooper spends his time out in the backs and Pocock is either injured or on holiday.

        • May 20th 2018 @ 9:32am
          Train without a station said | May 20th 2018 @ 9:32am | ! Report

          How’s it a myth if it has worked for England with a different bigger openside and does work for NZ and Ireland?

          • May 20th 2018 @ 2:43pm
            Bakkies said | May 20th 2018 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

            Leavy and the much smaller Josh van der Flier (Ireland also Jordi Murphy there) are fetchers the likes of Haskell aren’t so they rely on Robshaw who Eddie labels as a six and a half to do that work. It has become more of a problem for England with Billy Vunipola their best breakdown exponent out.

            The Boks moved on from having two big flankers as they weren’t effective at the breakdown and their maul hasn’t been strong for number of years now so they can’t really play the game with the ball off the ground. Their best year since their RWC win was in 2009 when Heinrich Brussouw was picked at openside. I don’t think he lost a test against the ABs when he started.

            There is no excuse for an experienced openside not to be contesting the breakdown as it doesn’t allow his pack to control the pace of the game and the struggling defensive line to realign. Particularly when the other forwards aren’t strong over the ball. When he contests Hooper is actually very good at it.

            • May 20th 2018 @ 2:48pm
              Fionn said | May 20th 2018 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

              I think Hooper has shown more of a willingness to do so this year.

              • May 20th 2018 @ 2:56pm
                Bakkies said | May 20th 2018 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

                He was more of a fetcher when he played at that Brumbies as the key to that team was breakdown work.

      • May 21st 2018 @ 6:50am
        Drongo said | May 21st 2018 @ 6:50am | ! Report

        They can move him to club rugby if they no longer need him. Souths in Brisbane will take him, I am sure.

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