Wallabies hooker Dave Polecki is open to Michael Hooper dealing with his mental health issues as the veteran flanker prepares to return to the national team after months away from the game. I admired something.
Hooper surprised everyone when he withdrew from Australia’s tour of Argentina and then missed the entire rugby championship for personal reasons.
Australia’s most played skipper has spent the last 12 weeks taking care of himself, but is just days away from getting back into action when the Wallabies take on Scotland in the first Test of the European Spring Tour. .
Porecki hopes young players will take notice of what Hooper did and hear it from someone in his position, breaking the stigma of being weak to speak.
“We could talk for hours about how important it is, not just to sports in general, but to people our age,” Polecki said.
“There is a stigma in rugby that it may be taboo to talk openly about what is going on in your life. I was very proud of the way I had to approach certain things.
“I think everyone had enough respect for him already, but credit to him for standing his ground in Australian rugby and having the courage to deal with it.
“He’s a great guy, good to be around the team and holds people accountable. He just came back refreshed and it’s not realistic for him to come back.
“It’s huge to have a player of his ability back on the team, especially to be here away from home in front of a hostile crowd. He keeps the group calm.”
Polecki said he’s seen huge improvements in the mental health field since joining the professional ranks, and will continue to look forward to the next decade as people become more comfortable and more aware of what’s going on. I was convinced that it would only improve with
“I think that’s definitely an area where we’re improving,” he said.
“Based on the current situation going on, I don’t think I’ve necessarily gotten more or less[help]but I see more and more people struggling and coming out, so it’s definitely within the game. I think it’s improving.
“The game still has a lot to improve on, but it’s improved dramatically since it first came out 10 years ago. The facilities and resources are there to reach out to any area you need to get it.” There are many more.
“As long as there’s active productivity to make this better, that’s at the moment, but that’s all I’m concerned about.”
The Wallabies will begin a five-test tour with Scotland this weekend, ahead of matches against France, Italy, Ireland and Wales.
This is the perfect preparation for the World Cup in France next year. So the Wallabies are based in France this week to adjust to life 12 months later.
It will also be a good test for Wallabies manager Dave Rennie, who has lost four of his six games in this year’s Rugby Championship to put pressure on his position.
“The guys have to come forward,” said outside back Andrew Kellaway.
“I never saw Dave Rennie untackled.”
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/its-taboo-how-michael-hoopers-brave-decision-can-help-young-athletes-deal-with-mental-health-issues/news-story/15dc007e7771c6249fda96908080e9ab Wallabies honor Michael Hooper’s brave challenge