- Title: Wallabies captain, Hooper ready for battle in quarter final showdown
- Date: 18th October 2019
- Summary: OITA, JAPAN (OCTOBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) CHRISTIAN LEALIIFANO KICKING A GOAL AT TRAINING CAPTAIN OF AUSTRALIAN RUGBY SQUAD USING TACKLE BAG WITH LOCK, ROB SIMMONS CHRISTIAN LEALIIFANO KICKING BALL TO MATT TOOMUA KURTLEY BEALE KICKING BALL MATT TOOMUA KICKING BALL (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN WORLD CUP CAPTAIN, MICHAEL HOOPER, SAYING: "Mate. It's going to be a good battle, it's going to be a good battle. Every Friday, you sit here, you get asked about the back row combinations. The ruck's a great part of the game. It's going to be, as always huge part of the test match tomorrow. How good." DAVID POCOCK USING TACKLE BAG ON GROUND WITH TRAINER (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN WORLD CUP CAPTAIN, MICHAEL HOOPER, SAYING: "It's important to understand, it's been something we've looked into, what starting well actually looks like. I've started to get the belief that starting you well is preparing you well for the back end of the game, when it opens up a bit. Starting well is sticking to your principles early. Not getting flustered by things that are happening. Not getting flustered by the score board. Because you don't win the game at half time. Yeah, we want to start well. What's it actually look like? It looks like sticking to our processes and playing the game that we set out to play. And, being confident with whatever comes at us throughout that period. That's starting well in my opinion." WALLABIES TRAINING AT OITA STADIUM (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN WORLD CUP CAPTAIN, MICHAEL HOOPER SAYING: "Yeah I'm nervous, but that's good because it means you care. I was nervous in the first Waratahs game of the year. The first trial, I'm nervous now. You know, that's just part of being a rugby player. You feel alive, feel ready to go." COACH MICHAEL CHEIKA TALKING TO WALLABIES MEDIA MANGER, CHRIS FORD
- Embargoed: 1st November 2019 09:54
- Keywords: Rugby World Cup Japan Australia Michael Hooper Wallabies England
- Location: OITA, JAPAN
- City: OITA, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Rugby Union,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001B1MGYF3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Australia are keen to make a good start against in England in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, but only because it would give them a strong foundation to finish off the game well, captain Michael Hooper said on Friday (October 18).
A large part of the reason the Wallabies are facing the English this weekend is that Wales raced away to a 23-8 halftime lead in the crunch Tokyo match that effectively decided the winners of Pool D.
Australia fought back to within one point in the second half but the Welsh held on to win 29-25 and now face France on Sunday at the same Oita Stadium where the Wallabies take on England on Saturday.
Hooper said the Australians had talked about "what starting well actually looks like" and he had come to the conclusion that it does not necessarily mean getting a torrent of points on the board in the first half an hour.
"It's important to understand, it's been something we've looked into, what starting well actually looks like. I've started to get the belief that starting you well is preparing you well for the back end of the game," he said.
Hooper will link up with David Pocock against England duo Tom Curry and Sam Underhill in an intriguing back row battle featuring four openside flankers.
The Australia skipper said he had been confused by the inconsistency of some of the refereeing around the ruck at the World Cup but thought it would be a hard-fought contest.
Hooper dismissed as "an unknown" the idea that England, whose final pool match against France was cancelled because of Typhoon Hagibis, might have benefited from a couple of weeks off since their last match.
However well their opponents had prepared, though, Hooper said Australia would also be raring to go as they look to book a place in the semi-finals for a third successive World Cup and snap a six match losing streak against England.
(Production: Jill Gralow)
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