Hooper in 2012
|Full name||Michael Kent Hooper|
|Date of birth||29 October 1991|
|Place of birth||Manly, New South Wales, Australia|
|Height||180 cm (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||101 kg (223 lb; 15 st 13 lb)|
|School||St. Pius X College|
|Rugby union career|
Michael Hooper (born 29 October 1991) is an Australian professional rugby union player who is the captain of the Waratahs in Super Rugby and the Australia national team, the Wallabies. His playing position is openside flanker.
Hooper was born on 29 October 1991 in Sydney, and played his junior rugby at the Manly Roos alongside other future Wallabies such as George Smith. Hooper represented Australia under 20 at the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship. Where he captained the side at times and was named International Player of the Tournament.
After a breakout season for the Brumbies in 2012, he was signed by the New South Wales Waratahs where he begun the 2013 season. 2013 was a standout year for Hooper who won many accolades including Brumbies best forward, Australian Rugby Union Rookie of year and was placed third for the John Eales medal after playing less than half of the polling games.
On 1 March 2014, Hooper was named captain for the Waratahs' clash with the Queensland Reds after team regular Dave Dennis was ruled out of the game due to injury following the Waratahs' first game of the 2014 season against the Western Force. He led the Waratahs to their 32-5 win over the Reds at ANZ Stadium. He went on to play all of the games remaining in the Waratahs' 2014 season including the Grand Final against the Crusaders which he was the captain for, leading the team to a 33-32 win at ANZ Stadium.
On 5 June 2012, Hooper made his international debut for Australia, coming off the bench (in the 65th minute) against Scotland in Newcastle. Following a knee injury to regular flanker and captain David Pocock, Hooper started in every Test game until the final Spring-Tour game (and Nathan Sharpe's final Wallabies game) against Wales in Cardiff, where he started from the bench to make-way for David Pocock. Hooper won Wallabies 'Rookie of the year' award at the annual John Eales Medal awards evening event.
In 2013, when David Pocock suffered a season-ending knee injury; Hooper played in all of the Wallabies Test matches and had an outstanding year, winning the John Eales Medal as 'Wallabies player of the year'.
In 2014, Pocock suffered another season-ending knee injury and in Ewen McKenzie's second year as Wallabies coach, McKenzie named Hooper as vice-captain with his Waratahs team-mate Adam Ashley-Cooper and his former Brumbies team-mate Stephen Moore was named as Australia captain for the 2014 three-test June series against France. However, when captain Stephen Moore left the field with a knee injury in the 5th minute, Hooper took over the captaincy for the rest of the game. During the game, he scored a try in the first half and he had a strong performance against France in the Wallabies' 50-23 win at Suncorp Stadium. Hooper was rated was one of the best players on the field during the game by Iain Payten of foxsports.com.au and was also labelled 'the Energizer Bunny of world rugby'.
Following the season-ending injury to Stephen Moore during the first test of 2014 against France in Brisbane, Hooper was named as Wallabies captain for the rest of the 2014 Test-season, meaning that he was the Wallabies 82nd Test captain and the youngest player (age 22, 223 days) to captain the side since Ken Catchpole (age 21, 354 days) in 1961.
Following another strong 2015 Super Rugby season, Hooper was awarded the Peoples Choice - Wallaby of the Year at the John Eales Medal awards night for the second year in a row. He also kept his starting position safe, forcing David Pocock into Number 8 after returning from injury. He was also selected in the 31-man 2015 Rugby World Cup squad.
In 2016 Hooper was again awarded the John Eales Medal, the 4th player to have won it a second time.