Rugby Championship

Hooper on track for Bledisloe opener

2018-08-07 07:02
Michael Hooper (Getty)

Sydney - Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper says he is confident of being fit to play the opening Bledisloe Cup clash against the All Blacks after coming through his full first training session since tearing a hamstring.

Hooper picked up the injury in the final Test against Ireland in June and was unable to play for the Waratahs during their recent Super Rugby finals run.

But he completed a full day's training on Monday with the Test squad and said he was aiming to be ready for the August 18 clash with New Zealand in Sydney.

"Hiccups aside, with a week of training, I should be in a good position next week," he told Rugby Australia's website rugby.com.au.

"It's the first real footy I have played in over six weeks but I am comfortable in how the injury has progressed in getting here and I have had great rehab.

"I am putting myself in the best position to get myself right for the first game."

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika named an initial squad for the match on Sunday, with Hooper in it.

Also included was Test veteran Tatafu Polota-Nau, who was rested for the Ireland series, and England-based back Matt Toomua, who recently confirmed a move to the Melbourne Rebels.

Six uncapped players also made the grade, including 18-year-old Jordan Petaia, who shone during a Bledisloe Cup trial game in Sydney on Friday.

Australia squad:

Forwards

Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Faingaa, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (captain), Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Caleb Timu, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou

Backs

Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Billy Meakes, Sefa Naivalu, Jordan Petaia, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona, Matt Toomua

 

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