Wallaby wins John Eales Medal
Sydney - Openside flank Michael Hooper has capped an impressive season by winning the John Eales Medal, voted the Wallabies' best player by his peers.
The 22-year-old was handed the honour at an awards ceremony in Sydney on Thursday evening, well ahead nearest rivals Wycliff Palu and high-profile fullback Israel Folau.
Winning the gong, named after the former Wallaby captain, comes just over a year after Hooper made his Test debut against Scotland.
It makes it five wins in the 12 years since the medal was first awarded by openside flankers with Hooper joining George Smith (2002 and 2008), Phil Waugh (2003) and David Pocock (2010).
Folau, a former rugby league international who made his Wallaby debut against the British and Irish Lions this year, was named rookie of the year.
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