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Why prop Harry Hoopert decided to leave Reds for Western Force

By Finn Morton
Harry Hoopert of the Reds during the round 10 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Hurricanes and the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park on April 23, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Queenslander Harry Hoopert has become the latest player to head west with the promising prop signing with the Force until the end of 2025.

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Hoopert was unveiled by the Western Force on Wednesday morning, and is set to join the club alongside fellow newcomers Nic White, Ben Donaldson, Will Harris and Harry Potter.

The 24-year-old was part of the Australia A touring squad last year. Unfortunately, Hoopert’s tour was cut short after he sustained an ACL injury in the 22-21 win over the Japan XV in Fukuoka.

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Hoopert, who played 48 matches for the Queensland Reds over six years, had been “keeping a close eye on the Force” before putting pen to paper with the Perth-based franchise.

“(Coach Simon) Crono coached me in the U20 a few years ago, even then, he was incredibly detailed and thorough, which is what I am looking forward to gaining from him,” Hoopert said.

“I’ve been keeping a close eye on the Force for the last year, and the recent signings especially have caught my attention and made me want to make a move over.

“I have been at the Reds for six years, so the move will be a welcomed change. The opportunity to come to a younger squad and help out, having input where I can, is exciting.

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“The coaches have built a strong group andly believe that the Force can build on last season.”

Hoopert made his Super Rugby debut during an upset win over the Lions at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

It was the start of a promising career in Queensland – but the next chapter is waiting to be written in Western Australia.

“Harry’s addition brings depth to our front row,” coach Simon Cron said. “With 48 Super caps and Australia A appearances, his experience is invaluable.

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“He’ll challenge and elevate his fellow players on a daily basis, both on and off the training field.”

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Turlough 6 hours ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

“You want that – not hatred – but whatever it is that stirs it all up. It’s good.” Agree with this. If you can put a common motivating idea in all your players heads during a game it can produce a real Team perfromance. Erasmus is pretty expert at this. It is quite clear that the comments by Etzebeth, Allende and others were not coincidence and were actioned to create animoisty before the series in order to galvanise the South African mind set. While I understand it, I don’t like it. They result in unnessary vitriol between supporters and for what? I don’t think any of the SA players seriously believe any of these claims and with Ireland ignoring them Erasmus won’t get the escalation he seeks. The vitriol shown by some SA and indeed NZ supporters is extremely weird for NH supporters (OK, maybe England have felt it) but it just feels very odd over a sport. Ireland were more or less sh1t for the first 100 years of their rugby, they have improved significantly in the last 25 to be in a position around now (it may not last) to go into a match with the big guns with a real shot of winning. The reaction to this from some SH supporters has been bizarre with conspiracy theories of ‘Arrogance’ fueling abuse from supporters and even NZ players to Irish crowds during the world cup. I love International rugby and the comraderie between supporters. I genuinely dread and dislike the atmosphere around games with the southern giants. They take this very personally. NH teams: play them, try and beat them, enjoy the craic with their players and supporters and wish them well. SH teams wish them well and they call you arrogant in the press months later. Its just a matter of try and beat them and then good riddance til the next time.

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