Coach Ewen McKenzie has chosen hard-nosed hooker Stephen Moore as the man to lead the Wallabies right through to next year’s Rugby World Cup. The 91-Test hooker is the fourth skipper McKenzie has chosen in just 12 games and 10 months as national coach but the revolving door is about to jam shut.
McKenzie confirmed Moore – chosen along with new vice-captains Michael Hooper and Adam Ashley-Cooper – would be a long-term leader so long as he remained on the field.
In doing so, McKenzie severed leadership ties with his old Queensland generals James Horwill and Will Genia who are under pressure to keep their Test starting jerseys.
A team standards bearer and the starting hooker at the 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups, Moore’s performance-oriented approach and consistent strong form was a major factor in McKenzie’s decision.
Ashley-Cooper, one of six Wallabies stood down on the Spring Tour for a late night out in Dublin, said he was surprised by his elevation after not being viewed as a contender to replace the France-bound Ben Mowen as captain. Via wwos.ninemsn.com.au
A Trip Down Wallaby Lane
Matthew Morgan Called up for Wales Tour
HE may have had to cancel a holiday to Las Vegas, but the smile on Matthew Morgan’s face on Friday night suggested he had already hit the jackpot.
Morgan was the big winner from Warren Gatland’s Probables v Possibles trial in Swansea, delivering a dazzling second-half cameo to earn himself a place in Wales’s 32-man squad that will fly out to South Africa this week
Gatland admitted the 22-year-old Osprey had “come from nowhere” to earn his tour spot. “He lit the place up,” said the New Zealander. “He was the most dangerous player on the pitch so you have got to sit up and take notice.”
In the absence of the injured Leigh Halfpenny, Scarlets full-back Liam Williams is set to wear the No. 15 jersey in the first Test against the Springboks in Durban with Morgan likely to get his chance in the midweek match against Eastern Province Kings which kicks off the tour in Port Elizabeth on June 10.
“They have said I’m going to be going as a full-back, which I don’t mind as long as I’m on the plane. I’ll go as any position,” he added.
“Hopefully, if I can train hard over the next week, then whatever happens will happen. I’ll just give it my best shot. Via southwales-eveningpost.co.uk