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Defence on the agenda after 15-try epic

Michael Hooper will be a key part of the Waratahs in 2019. (AAP Image/Jeremy Ng)

NSW Waratahs captain Michael Hooper admits there was probably one man who didn’t enjoy watching his side’s 15-try epic against Queensland on Saturday.

Fifteen Wallabies hopefuls featured at Suncorp Stadium as the Waratahs prevailed 51-42, with Super Rugby now on the backburner ahead of a three-Test series against Ireland starting at the same ground on Saturday.

Hooper said he was proud of how effective his side’s attack had been but equally impressed by the young Reds’ creativity and flair.

“They managed some offloads that had me looking around going ‘how did they get that away’,” the flanker said.

“There was some really crafty plays.”

But he said Australia’s defensive coach Nathan Grey may not have been quite so thrilled with what he saw.

“I think Nathan would love the opportunity to get his hands on the guys and not see that come next week,” Hooper said with a wry smile.

There were no injury concerns out of the clash for any potential Wallabies, with Waratahs hooker Damien Fitzpatrick putting his hand up if first-choice hooker Jordan Uelese’s ankle injury rules him out.

The 21-year-old Rebel was selected alongside 22-year-old Red Brandon Paenga-Amosa and 23-year-old Brumby Folau Fainga’a as one of three raw hooking options to face the Irish.

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He will join the squad in Brisbane but wait on scans to reveal the full extent of the damage, with Fitzpatrick a likely option to be called in if the Rebel is ruled out.

“I really hope that it’s not as bad as it looked,” Hooper said of Uelese’s mishap.

“I wish all the best for Jordan, but Cheik’s (Wallabies coach Michael Cheika) got a big decision to make.

“It’s a position where there isn’t much experience but guys are jostling for a spot … even before this incident Damien would’ve been in the conversation.”