Michael Hooper has been named captain of the New South Wales Waratahs for the 2016 season
The back-rower led Australia in three Tests against France in 2014
NSW Waratahs 2016 Super Rugby season kicks off on Saturday 27th February in a round one clash against the Queensland Reds
Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson has confirmed that Wallabies and Waratahs flanker Michael Hooper will captain the Sydney-based Super Rugby franchise in the 2016 season, taking over from lock Dave Dennis.
The 24-year-old has a wealth of experience as a captain, first taking the reins for the NSW Waratahs in 2014 when Dennis succumbed to injury, steering the side to their inaugural Super Rugby title. He also becoming one of the Wallabies youngest every
He also became one of the Wallabies most youthful skippers when he led Australia in three Tests against France at the age of 22 in 2014.
The flanker admitted he was honoured to be named the NSW Waratahs team captain.
“I’m a NSW boy through and through. Growing up in NSW and getting the opportunity to lead NSW is a huge privilege, especially after taking over from Dave Dennis, who has been a big influence on my career,” Hooper said.
“Dave and I have a great relationship, and the team is culturally really strong so changes that have already taken place this year have been taken really well by the group. This will be no different.
“The Waratahs have a fantastic club history. Some of that history has been built by the guys in this team, so they know that only a collective effort will ensure good performances week to week.
“It’s going to be a learning process for me, it’s a fairly new squad so there’s challenges there, but also excitement around what we can get done on the field.”
Coach Daryl Gibson said the appointment was an opportunity for Hooper “to establish himself as leader of a new group with a view to the long-term future.
“We are extremely fortunate to have an experienced senior group behind them too, with guidance from players like Dave Dennis and Dean Mumm to assist in leading our team.”