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Michael Hooper's demands for Wallabies clash against Uruguay

By Online Editors

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Be muscular from the opening whistle but careful with your hands throughout.

It’s the mixed message the Wallabies will take with them onto Oita Stadium where they can get their Rugby World Cup campaign back on track with a convincing win over Uruguay.

Captain Michael Hooper is demanding a convincing response to last week’s loss to Wales and is wary they’re coming up against committed opponents at a venue that has been compared to a sauna.

Humidity at the enclosed stadium skyrocketed for last Wednesday’s match between New Zealand and Canada drained the players and resulted in a slew of handing errors.

Hooper said a different carrying technique may be the instruction if the ball takes on soap-like qualities.


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“Keep the ball away off the chest, minimise how slippery and wet that ball gets, especially after a couple of phases,” he said.

“You try and grasp it early and keep it off the chest. The jerseys will be very wet so keeping it off there is important. Just catch the ball. It’s as simple as that.”

The Wallabies have made it a priority to start more strongly than in both pool matches so far.


A second-half fightback was enough to haul in Fiji but they ran out of time against the Welsh after ceding an 18-point deficit.

The four-point loss in Tokyo has gnawed away at Hooper and he is thankful at a chance to take out frustration in the opening collisions.

Back-row comrade Jack Dempsey and four other starters have the additional motivation of making their first appearances of the tournament.


Tough No.8 Dempsey said he and blindside flanker Lukhan Salakaia-Loto have made a pact to impose themselves on the Uruguayans through powerful carries and crashing defence.

“We are after a fast start. As a backrower you can definitely have a hand in getting a quick start and getting a bit of a roll on,” he said.

“As ball-carrying backrowers you have more of a say than a prop because you can get the ball in your hands early and set the tone.”


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