Michael Hooper will remain as Wallabies captain under new coach Dave Rennie for the 2020 season.
The flanker was confirmed as the Australian skipper this afternoon, continuing in the role he has held full-time since 2017.
“It’s an absolute honour to be the Wallabies captain and I want to thank Dave, the Wallabies management team as well as Rugby Australia for their support and endorsement,” Hooper said.
“It’s a privilege to wear the Wallabies jersey, I feel proud to lead my teammates and to represent those players that have gone before and all Australians.
“I’m really excited about this group and the direction we are heading. We have already spent some quality time together, defining who we are and what we stand for and what we plan to achieve in the coming months.”
Hooper stepped away from the Waratahs captaincy this year and enjoyed a strong season in sky blue, but that didn’t prevent Rennie from sticking with him to lead the national side.
“I’ve been really impressed with Hoops. We’ve spoken a lot over the past nine months and it’s highlighted his passion and commitment,” Rennie said.
“He’s a good man with an outstanding work ethic and he’s a great role model for our young men coming through.
“He’s keen to lead, and is highly respected by the Wallaby family. In the end his appointment was a straightforward decision.”
The decision confirms Hooper as a sure-fire starter for the Wallabies when they take on the All Blacks in Bledisloe 1, cementing his place in a back row which is looming as a real area of strength for Australia.
However the announcement stated Hooper has been appointed “to lead Australia this international season”, opening the possibility of a change in leader in the coming years.
Hooper became the second-youngest player to captain the Wallabies when he filled in for Stephen Moore in 2014, his 22 years and 223 days putting him behind only legendary halfback Ken Catchpole, who was 21 when he took the captaincy.
Only John Eales and George Gregan played more Tests as skipper for Australia than Hooper, who has led the side on 46 occasions.