• MICHAEL HOOPER APPOINTED WALLABIES CAPTAIN AHEAD OF BLEDISLOE CUP TEST AGAINST ALL BLACKS

02 Aug 2017

  • A new era in Australia begins on Saturday 19 August when Michael Hooper leads out the Qantas Wallabies against the All Blacks in the opening Bledisloe Cup Test of 2017;
  • Huge pre-game party kicks off in the precinct from 4pm with food stalls, live bands & entertainment;
  • Fans strongly encouraged to take advantage of return travel on direct train services and Major Event Buses included in their ticket.

Crystelle Cordero

MICHAEL Hooper’s first Test as captain of the Qantas Wallabies will be against the world champion All Blacks at ANZ Stadium on Saturday 19 August . . . and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika yesterday appointed Hooper, 25 and already a veteran of 68 Tests – to lead Australia into a new era in Australian rugby.

In front of a large media contingent at ANZ Stadium, Hooper said: "It’s a huge honour to just wear the Wallabies jersey, let alone captain the side. I'm extremely grateful to Cheik (Michael Cheika) but also to Steve (Moore) for all that he's done for me and the team. 

“It's what you do in the jersey that's most important and I get another crack at showing what it means to me against New Zealand at ANZ Stadium (on Saturday 19 August).

“The All Blacks are the benchmark in world rugby and I’m excited to face them for the first time as captain.”

Tickets to the opening Bledisloe Cup clash are here with Tickets start from just $46 for adults with good seats still available across all categories.

The Hooper reign begins after Stephen Moore's decision to step down from the role ahead of his retirement from international rugby at the end of the 2017 season.

Hooper has experience in the role after he stepped in when Moore was injured in 2014, and in doing so became the 82nd player to Captain the Wallabies, as well as the youngest (22 years 223 days) since Ken Catchpole in 1961. 

“There are quite a few good young leaders in this team like Bernard (Foley), Adam (Coleman), Samu (Kerevi) and Allan (Alaalatoa), so we'll be working together to take this team to a new level,” Hooper said. 

“I’m really excited about what we can achieve in the next four months. It is a very special opportunity for all of us, and we'll be doing all we can to show that pride in the jersey/”

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said: "Michael always shows on the field how much he loves the gold jersey and that's why he is totally respected among the rugby players in Australia. 

“His role as the leader of this team will also be about making the standards of the Australian rugby team the highest they can possibly be.  

“Michael loves Australia and his record as a player speaks for itself but he's exactly the type of man we want see in rugby - connected to his school, a great club man at the grassroots, a passionate Super Rugby player and a proud Wallaby."

The 25-year old has already captained the side 15 times, 13 of those coming in 2014 when he deputised for Moore, before leading the Wallabies twice in June of this year.

Since making his Test debut against Scotland in 2012, Hooper recorded 50 caps in the shortest time of any player (3 years 4 months) and became the second youngest player to hit the milestone when he ran out against Argentina in the 2015 Rugby World Cup semi-final.

In 2016, Hooper became just the fourth player to win multiple John Eales Medals and has won the NSW Waratahs' Matthew Burke Medal four years running. 

PRECINCT PARTY

Sydney Olympic Park will come alive for Rugby’s golden night on Saturday 19 August.

The precinct will be transformed into a sea of gold as rugby fans flock to the Park for one of Sydney's best pre-game parties.

Fans travelling to Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday 19 August will be able enjoy the traditional massive pre-game party in the precinct, kicking off at 4pm.

With live entertainment, pop-up cafes and the entire precinct bathed in gold there’ll be no better way to start the sporting feast than the party rockin’ and rollin’ outside ANZ Stadium.

Cathy Freeman Park will be turned into a hive of activity with a giant inflatable Rugby field playing host to kids clinics and visits from Wallabies players.

There will also be theming inside the Stadium and the Wallabies’ vocal supporters’ group The Gold Brigade will take up residence in the northern stands. 

TRANSPORT

With multiple events in Sydney Olympic Park on the day it’s time to lock in your plans and get ready for a big Bledisloe Cup weekend.

Fans coming to the game are strongly encouraged to leave the car at home take advantage of public transport included in their tickets with a number of direct train services and Major Event Buses running.

Express trains will travel from Central to Olympic Park every 6 minutes from 4:30pm with Major Event Buses beginning between 3:30pm – 4:30pm depending on the route.

If you must drive it is essential you pre-book your parking for the day via the Sydney Olympic Park Authority here.

ANZ Stadium Membership entitles you to attend EVERY. SINGLE. GAME, including the 2017 Bledisloe Cup Test and provides an exclusive pre-event purchase window for global concert acts, plus other benefits, so why not become a Member today? Join now for the hot price of $1590, including the one-off joining fee and 2017 Annual Subscription.

Or, impress and indulge your clients with ANZ Stadium's Official Hospitality packages. Choose between a Private Suite, Zone Box or Centreline Seats at one of the best corporate events of the year to entertain your important clients. Enquiries here.