Legendary Wallabies third-row Michael Hooper has told his club he will not play in Super Rugby next season.
Hooper is expected to play his last home game for the New South Wales Waratahs on 3 June when they take on Moana Pacifica.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Hooper was nearing the end of his five-year contract and was unsure where he would play next season. However, Hooper is firm on one thing, and that is that he will move on from Sydney, calling the Waratahs home for nine seasons.
The 31-year-old has made 139 appearances for the Waratahs, and his dedicated leadership led the Australian team to the 2014 Super Rugby champions title. The ‘Folds are currently sixth on the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific table and look unlikely to qualify for the play-offs, which brings Hooper’s retirement horizon even closer.
Hooper has previously discussed ambitions to represent Australia’s Olympic team, and is eyeing the opportunity to win gold at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“It would be great, wouldn’t it?” Hooper told the Sydney Morning Herald. “To see Samu (Kerevi) and the guys representing their country at the Olympic Games, it is very special. But honestly, I don’t know if I can do it athletically.”
Former Australia Sevens assistant coach Stephen Hoiles believes Hooper can succeed in the fast-paced Olympic sport.
“He’s definitely one of those guys who can be successful at that level … The most important component is his ability to step onto the court for 14 minutes six times in one weekend,” Hoiles said.
“It doesn’t sound like much but it’s tougher than the 15, where it’s intense but you have a lot of rest. Hoops’ experience and mindset will definitely help lift the selected sevens. He’s got good skills and he can play is a good reader of
For now, Hooper’s future in the 15 games remains undecided. The Waratah winger has previously played one season in the Japan Top League, starring for the Toyota Verblitz in the 2021 season. Hooper’s options seem to revolve around returning to Japan, moving to France, the Olympic dream, or retirement.
“There’s a little opacity in the air [y] Ambiguity in my mind. I don’t have anything planned for next year. I’ve been bound by a contract for a long time… since late 2009. Other than this [período en Japón en 2021]Everything has been in Australia”.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen next. It’s a good position to be in. Maybe he’s playing, he’s not playing, he’s got free time. I’m a totally open book. Or I’m just hanging up the shoes.” Will give.” Hooper said.