Former Wallabies captain Michael Hooper retires at 32

SYDNEY (AP) — Former Wallabies captain Michael Hooper has retired from Australian rugby aged 32 after failing to secure a place in the Australia sevens team for the Paris Olympics.

Hooper announced his decision Sunday, saying he was retiring “with immediate effect.”

In an international career that spanned more than a decade, Hooper played 125 times for the Wallabies and captained the team in 69 matches.

He was the youngest-ever Wallabies captain when he first took over the role in 2014, aged 23, and retires as Australia's most-capped captain. He was also the youngest player to make 100 test appearances for Australia.

Hooper had hoped to end his career after the Paris Olympics but injuries affected his selection chances.

“What a ride! My Olympic journey has come to an end and with it my Australian Rugby career,” Hooper said in a social media post.

“To the Aussie Sevens team, I wish you all the best, you’ve been an awesome, helpful, and talented group of athletes to be part of.

“As for my time in Australian Rugby, I’m grateful to my family and friends for their unwavering support throughout. We’ve shared an incredible journey, filled with unforgettable experiences, challenges and memories. Thank you.”

Hooper was Australia’s Rugby Player of the Year on four occasions and was twice nominated as World Rugby Player of Year.

A flanker, he played his last test against South Africa in 2023 before switching to sevens.


AP rugby: