Wallabies captain Michael Hooper is finally set to return from injury, with the upcoming clash against the Fijian Drua likely to see the 30-year-old take to the field for the first time in over four months. Hooper suffered a foot injury in a November clash against England which was initially suspected to be a short-term issue, with Hooper suggesting there was some chance he would play the following week in his post-game press conference.
Unfortunately, what was ultimately diagnosed as a grade two mid-foot sprain was enough to see him miss the conclusion of the international season, as well as the first six games of the Super Rugby season. He narrowly managed to avoid surgery to repair the injury, but a four-and-a-half month absence was still significantly longer than first anticipated. With his return nearing though, the star flanker is “fully functional” in his own words, and eager to get back on the park to complement his young team as soon as possible. According to online betting sites odds, the Waratahs are an outside chance at best to do damage this season regardless of his return, but nonetheless his presence will be a welcome boost to the side. If you are thinking to bet, we highly recommend you to check the honest and popular mybetting Australia site. This site will provide you all the relevant information you need before making a safe bet. You can find there important betting tips, betting sites reviews and even information about betting sites bonuses. Therefore, don’t make a rush decision and make some time to read all this important information to increase your chances to make the best and safest bet for you.
Hooper has been an integral part of the Waratahs since joining them from the Brumbies back in 2013, a period which included him leading them to their solitary Super Rugby championship to date in 2014. However, it’s nearing two years since he last put on the ‘Tahs jersey; he took a sabbatical during the COVID-interrupted 2020 season and didn’t play for them during yet another interrupted 2021 year, a period which has seen the young Waratahs outfit experience a roller coaster set of results.
In the first full season since the pandemic begun, however, the side has started the season fairly well despite Hooper’s notable absence. Though their early season stint in the upper echelons of the ladder isn’t expected to last (they are widely regarded as a step below the top six teams and are at fairly long odds to win the championship this season), the return of the captain of the Australian side will be a welcome one. The Waratahs are a young side, and while they’ve demonstrated some signs of growth in the last couple of years, the return of someone both as experienced and talented as Hooper will have a major impact on the group.
At both the Super Rugby and international level, his experience is significant to say the least. Hooper has represented the Waratahs on 121 occasions since joining them in 2013, scoring 110 points in that time, while prior to that he appeared 31 times for the Brumbies and scored 25 points. He has appeared on the international stage nearly as many times; after representing the Under 20 team four times in 2011, Hooper has played 115 games and scored 110 points for the national side.
In that time, he has accumulated no shortage of accolades; in 2014, he became the youngest Australian captain in over 50 years, a year after he won his inaugural John Eales Medal as the best Australian rugby union player for the year in 2013. Since then, he has gone on to win the medal again in 2016, 2020 and 2021, with his most recent victory making him the first Australian player to win the prestigious award on four occasions. Along the way, he has also become the youngest Australian player to play in 100 tests, while last year also saw him pass the legendary George Gregan for the most tests as captain when he led the national team for the 60th time.
Clearly, Hooper’s presence is invaluable for whichever team he is representing, and his return to the park against the Druas will be momentous not just for Waratahs fans, but indeed rugby union fans the nation over. Given his lengthy absence, it’s likely that he will be on some sort of minutes limit as he ramps back up to full fitness, but expect him to make his presence felt from the outset as he attempts to help his young Waratahs outfit continue their impressive start to the season.