Moore named Oz captain for RWC

2015-07-06 07:18
Stephen Moore (Gallo Images)

Sydney - Hooker Stephen Moore will lead Australia to this year's Rugby World Cup after being named Wallabies captain for the season by coach Michael Cheika on Monday.

Moore, 32, was also named captain last year by then coach Ewen McKenzie only to be ruled out for the rest of the season by a knee injury in the first few seconds of his first test in charge against France.

Flank Michael Hooper, who took over for the remainder of last season, was named as Wallabies vice captain for 2015 along with experienced centre Adam Ashley-Cooper.

"Having spoken to the two vice-captains prior to Stephen, both of them couldn't have made a higher endorsement of Stephen to lead them personally, this playing group and our country," Cheika said.

"Leadership is going to be a massive part of this journey, and both Adam and Michael will have a big part to play in supporting Stephen.

"Stephen is not only a player who leads by example on the field, but he is a man who exemplifies the qualities of a Wallabies captain and it is a testament to his character that he has been able to overcome a setback and put himself in a position to lead his country again."

Moore, who also captains the Brumbies in Super Rugby, has played 92 Tests for his country since his debut against Samoa in 2005 and the Sept. 18-Oct, 31 World Cup in England later this year will be his third.

Born in Saudi Arabia, where his Irish parents were working at the time, Moore grew up in Queensland where he represented the Reds before moving south to Canberra.

A strong scrummager and accurate thrower of the ball at lineouts, he is a key member of Australia's often criticised front row.

The late withdrawals of Moore and flanker David Pocock from the side to face Ireland at the last World Cup in New Zealand were seen by many as a major contributory factor to Australia's defeat and ultimate demise in the competition.

Victory over the Irish would have meant progression to the weaker side of the draw and although the Australians overcame defending champions South Africa in the quarter-finals, they were well beaten by the All Blacks in the semis.

Moore was one of the main advocates for a stronger team culture when off-field problems for some younger players threatened the unity of the squad under both Robbie Deans and McKenzie.

"It's an honour every time you get to wear the Wallabies jumper, and to be captain is extra special, but ultimately it's what you do with it that is most important," Moore said.

"Australian Rugby is lucky to have many good leaders in this team who lead by actions and we have already spent some quality time together, defining our identity, what we are about and what we stand for."

Australia open their season with a Rugby Championship Test against South Africa in Brisbane on July 18 and face England, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay in the pool stage at the World Cup.

Read more on:    wallabies  |  stephen moore  |  rugby

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