Thu, Jul 27, 12:04pm by Head Editor
Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore has called time on his three-year captaincy career, handing the reigns over to Michael Hooper immediately, but he will continue his 120 Test career until the end of the international season.
The 34-year-old, who has been Australia’s premier hooker since debuting in 2005 against Samoa, told his teammates at the Wallabies training camp in Newcastle on Thursday morning.
He’s played at three World Cups and became the 81st captain of the Wallabies in 2014, when he was picked to lead his country by coach Ewen McKenzie, for the three-Test June series against France.
It was hardly a memorable beginning though, with the number two picking up a season ending ACL injury when he went down awkwardly, making a tackle in the second minute of the Wallabies’ 50-23 win over France at Suncorp Stadium.
The Queenslander has lead his country out 28 times, the fifth-highest tally in history. The hooker is currently the tenth-most capped Test player in the world, and the second most capped Wallaby of all time, behind George Gregan’s mark of 139.
On the domestic front, the number two has had one stint at the Brumbies and two for the Reds, when he will continue to build on his 177 game Super Rugby career next year.
He was on a three-year deal that would have taken him through to the 2019 World Cup, but Thursday’s announcement ended any chance of that happening. Moore is one of Australian rugby’s most respected figures and guided the national team to the World Cup final in 2015, which they lost 34-17 to the All Blacks.
Speaking of the All Blacks, that’s the first opponent in the final season of Moore’s 12-year Test career, with the first game of the Bledisloe Cup series to be played at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium on August 19.
As you’d expect, considering Australia hasn’t won the Bledisloe Cup since 2002, the odds are rather lopsided for the opening match. New Zealand are a $1.11 shot to win on Australian soil, with the Wallabies out at $6.50.
Bledisloe Cup Game 1
New Zealand $1.11
Bledisloe Cup Series Winner
New Zealand $1.04
New Zealand $1.14
South Africa $9.50
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