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Rugby Championship, Michael Hooper leave, mental health, explained, Australia return to play

Michael Hooper shocked the world when he committed suicide less than 48 hours after Argentina’s Wallabies’ Rugby Championship opener.

There was an outpouring of support around the world, from Will Carling to Karmichael Hunt, as it was revealed that Hopper’s “thinking” was incorrect and that he would skip the test and fly home.

But to those close to the matter, it was not that surprising.

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Hooper has been pushed to break even with the arrival of talented players such as Fraser McCreight, with few who have given him time in the saddle in his place.

Instead, with wins dear and a results-driven coach, the Walleyes – and Super Rugby franchises, except perhaps the Brumbies and most recently the Waratahs – have released key players for fear of defeat.

A forceful leader, Hooper has not only held the Warriors together on and off the field for years, but has put his head in a few unlikely places.

The second youngest Wallabies captain of all time, Hooper was the youngest player to play 100 Tests.

He surpassed George Gregan’s (59) Tests record last year, just 18 shy of the 1999 World Cup-winning 139.

Michael Hooper has pulled out 48 hours before the Welshmen's Rugby Championship opener.  (Photo by May Bailey/Getty Images)
Michael Hooper has pulled out 48 hours before the Welshmen’s Rugby Championship opener. (Photo by May Bailey/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

All this at the age of 30, who has been given the captaincy title by the last three Wallis coaches since he was first appointed by Robbie Dean in 2012.

At some point, age, or at least the number of minutes he spent on the field of play would catch up with him.

Hooper started in 115 of his 121 tests and went the full distance in 95 of them. At the weekend, Michael Cheka missed just 11 tries, including a 41-26 win over Argentina, making his Scotland debut off the bench in Newcastle.

In comparison, Richie McCaw, who started 141 of 148 Tests, missed 37 Tests in his illustrious career.

Incredibly, in the four years before his retirement following the 2015 World Cup finals, Macau had started 44 of 45 Tests during that period but played the full 80 minutes in just 33 of them.

However, age, strength and the weight of ruling the All Blacks for many years got to him, missing nine tries during that golden period.

New Zealand Rugby She gave him a sabbatical in late 2012 and saw him back in mid-2013. He didn’t play but rather cooled his heels.

In May, Hooper He laughed off the prospect of a possible home World Cup berth in 2027, saying they were more likely to take a “beer” in the stands.

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But it’s not just the indoor World Cup that feels eternal to Hopper, it’s also the 2025 British and Irish Lions series and, of course, next year’s World Cup.

On Sunday, after years of setbacks, the heavy knock is believed to have started to take its toll.

Hooper recently played against England in Brisbane despite being down with the flu during the week.

There was concern about another knock to the head as he dealt with his injuries after being hit by Ellis Jenge.

A week later, as the Walleyes’ injury toll stretched into double digits, he backed up the series decider, even though his back was sore.

Earlier in the year, Hooper spent two weeks on the sidelines after receiving a red card for a high tackle against a substitute Crusaders side.

Personally, the Waratahs and the Australian officials were rubbish as the offending Hamish Dalzell was also penalized for a shot that was not awarded a further penalty.

Concussion is an issue Hooper is particularly familiar with.

It is also known that the Colts were attacked on the practice field.

It’s unclear when Hooper will play next. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Several sources, including Rugby Australia, have raised questions about the strength and conditioning methods used under Dean Benton.

In recent months, questions have been raised after several players were injured in training.

There is a belief that the current team is not up to the test match standards and needs to be whipped into shape.

For now, Hooper, who returned to Australia on Sunday, is expected to rest and spend time with his family.

No time frame for when No. 7 will play next has been given.

Sources believe he will miss the home Tests against the Springboks.

Fortunately, the Whalers have found that they can play without Hooper and succeed.

But they may know that humans are not machines.

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