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Michael Hooper ruled out of Wallabies' tour finale against Wales

By AAP
Michael Hooper was injured in the Wallabies' loss to England. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

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The Wallabies’ hopes of salvaging some spring-tour pride have suffered a hammer blow with inspirational captain Michael Hooper ruled out of Saturday’s Test with Wales in Cardiff.

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Hooper hobbled off during the second half of the weekend loss to England and scans have subsequently revealed a grade-two mid-foot sprain.

The champion flanker will stay with the squad this week before returning to Sydney with the rest of the Wallabies on Sunday.

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All Access with Springboks legend Morne Steyn
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All Access with Springboks legend Morne Steyn

Officials say there’s been no timeline placed on Hooper’s recovery given the Wales clash is Australia’s last match of the year.

The Wallabies head to Millennium Stadium hoping to avoid a first winless spring tour of Europe since 1976.

A 15-13 defeat to Scotland preceded last Saturday’s 32-15 loss to England at Twickenham.

Hooper’s value to the Wallabies was underlined on Monday night when the back-rower was short-listed for the 2021 World Rugby player of the year award.

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Teammate and centre Samu Kerevi was also nominated along with French halfback Antoine Dupont and English lock Maro Itoje.

No Australian has ever won the award despite 13 nominations over its 21-year history.

Winger Andrew Kellaway earned a nod in the breakthrough player of the year category after bagging eight tries in 11 Tests since making his debut against France in July.

And Dave Rennie has been nominated for the coach of the year after steering the Wallabies to a series win against France and back-to-back victories over the world champion Springboks during the Rugby Championship.

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