Michael Hooper has become the third youngest Wallabies captain of all time after being appointed to replace injured hooker Stephen Moore. James Slipper has been elevated to the vice-captaincy as coach Ewen McKenzie takes a youth policy to leadership.
Not since centre Trevor Allan became a 21-year-old skipper in 1947 has an Australian Test rugby team been led by a younger player. At 22 years and 223 days, Hooper is just two years older than the Wallabies’ youngest captain of all time, Jimmy Flynn, who was 20 when he led the 1914 Wallabies in his second and last Test.
The reigning John Eales Medallist is a year younger than Mark Ella (1982) and Will Genia (2011), who had short stints as captain in more recent times.
Hooper takes over from Moore who is having a knee reconstruction after rupturing anterior and medial cruciate ligaments in the 50-23 first Test thumping of France on Saturday night. The NSW Waratahs flanker took over and led the Wallabies for the last 75 minutes of the first Test at Suncorp Stadium, scoring a try and playing superbly in both attack and defence.
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