Michael Hooper’s Olympic Games dream suffers another setback

michael hooper’s olympic games dream suffers another setback

Michael-Hooper-Singapore-Sevens-2024-Alamy

Legendary Wallabies openside flanker Michael Hooper’s bid to represent Australia at this year’s Olympic Games in Paris suffered a setback when he was ruled out of the World Rugby Sevens Series’ final tournament in Madrid next week due to injury.

Hooper is suffering from osteitis pubis, which is inflammation of his groin, and has been told to rest to give himself the best chance of being in contention for Australia’s sevens team for the Olympics which takes place on July 24 and 25.

Must ‘get on top of it early’

“The problem with that stuff is if you don’t get on top of it early, you end up suffering from it,” Australia sevens coach John Manenti told Nine’s Wide World of Sports.

“So we’re just trying to manage him now. Long travel, both ways, wouldn’t be good for him. So we’ll just try to look after him a little bit and then get him through to some camps and things coming up, where he can rip into those in a few weeks.

“It’s not a torn muscle. But the only way you can settle it is to stop running for a bit.”

The 32-year-old made the switch to sevens late last year, after he was omitted from the Wallabies’ 2023 Rugby World Cup squad by their then-head coach Eddie Jones, who claimed Hooper was not a good role model.

Wallabies legend gives honest assessment of Michael Hooper’s Sevens switch

The veteran back-row had a decorated Wallabies career which included captaining his country more times than any other player and winning the John Eales Medal as Australia’s player of the year on four occasions.

After making the switch to the shortened version of the game, Hooper’s participation in the World Rugby Sevens Series was limited as he also sustained calf and Achilles niggles during the season.

“So not great timing for him but obviously he’s been chasing hard to catch the group and all that stuff,” said Manenti.

“He’s had it (osteitis pubis) a bit in his XVs career so it’s not something that he’s unfamiliar with but it’s certainly something we just need to get on top of.”

Four changes to squad

Apart from Hooper’s absence, Manenti has made three other changes to his squad which finished fourth at this month’s Singapore SVNS for the HSBC SVNS 2024 Grand Final in Madrid which takes place from May 31 to June 2.

James McGregor, Teddy Wilson and Henry Palmer have also been left out with Tim Clements, Josh Turner, Dally Bird and Matt Gonzalez coming in to replace them while playmaker Maurice Longbottom is still sidelined due to injury.

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