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Aussie players don't rate Hooper

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Aussie Super players don't rate Hooper apparently

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper missed out on a place in Super Rugby’s Australian Conference team of the year.

The inaugural selection, voted for by players within the conference, was announced on Monday and found no room for Hooper, with Australia team-mate David Pocock preferred in the number seven position.

Israel Folau joined Pocock among 14 Wallabies-eligible stars, with Isi Naisarani the one exception.

The Fijian-born Naisarani will become available to play for Australia from March next year.

The Brumbies have the most players recognised with six, one more than semi-finalists the Waratahs, who featured leading points scorer Bernard Foley.

 

Super Rugby’s Australian Conference team of the year in full:

Scott Sio (Brumbies), Folau Fainga’a (Brumbies), Taniela Tupou (Reds), Rory Arnold (Brumbies), Rob Simmons (Waratahs), Angus Cottrell (Rebels), David Pocock (Brumbies), Isi Naisarani (Brumbies), Will Genia (Rebels), Bernard Foley (Waratahs), Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs), Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies), Jack Maddocks (Rebels), Israel Folau (Waratahs).

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Meanwhile fellow Wallabies flanker David Pocock has admitted his concerns after a tough night at the breakdown in Auckland.

Pocock was the Wallabies’ top tackler with 18 and won a pair of turnovers in the 40-12 Bledisloe Cup loss at the hands of the All Blacks.

All Blacks prop Owen Franks was penalised early for a neck roll while trying to clear Pocock out. Pocock was later asked about the potential lasting impact of neck rolls.

“As a player, you feel that after games and it’s not something you want to think too much about.”

“It’s pretty sore,” he continued. “I copped a knock and then a bit of a neck roll.

“It’ll be sore but hopefully it’s nothing serious.”

Pocock was reportedly so stiff after the contest that he had to turn his body as opposed to his head to speak with reporters.

The flanker is a regular target for teams at the breakdown, and teams often go to the extreme to counter the 30-year-old.

“There were a few [neck rolls] during Super [Rugby],” Pocock said.

“It’s something the refs said they were going to really look at.”

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika weighed in on Pocock’s influence and revealed how his star was feeling after the Test.

“He’s there nearly all the time, so he becomes a target and they do whatever they can to get rid of him,” Cheika said.

“I think today’s probably not the day to start going out for that type of stuff but for his own – he could hardly move his neck today.

“We need to also go there and give him a bit of support as well when that happens to him, we’ve got to show we’re right behind him.”

The Wallabies are now back in Australia and will host the Springboks in Brisbane on September 8 when their Rugby Championship campaign resumes.

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Aussie Super players don't rate Hooper apparently