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Hooper on track for first Bledisloe Cup Test

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    08 Aug 2018     Getty Images

A hamstring tear suffered in the third June Test against Ireland forced Hooper to miss the last stages of the Investec Super Rugby campaign and it wasn't until this week that he was able to complete a full day of training with the Australian squad at their camp.

Hooper said he was feeling good after the session although a little off where he wanted to be. He had enjoyed good rehabilitation and now it was a case of putting in the work to be ready for the Investec Rugby Championship opener, he told rugby.com.au.

He will have a full week of working with the squad before having a fitness test next week to give final confirmation of his recovery.

Watching from the sideline was not something he enjoyed.

"I want to get back on the field but it's given me a different perspective at some of the great things that go on around rugby," he said.

At the same time there had been some enjoyment in being able to give his body a rest.

Hooper did enjoy watching the Wallabies trial game played on Friday between a Wallabies squad and a Super selection and felt it should become an annual event.



"I thoroughly enjoyed watching that game, not only from our players' perspective which was fantastic, but the Super side, they threw a lot of physicality at our boys which was fantastic.

"But also just as a spectacle, watching from the sideline and for everyone who came out, it was a great showing.

"I have heard the guys felt that really big contact and have some soreness and so on, and it was great mental preparation leading into the game too.

"There would have been pressure to not lost that game, to start with, and to also turn in good performances. They all did a good job," he said.

The notion of a trial won over previously sceptical Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

"It was exactly what we wanted. It was very physical and we got tested, which was exactly what we wanted," he said.

The game was played at Leichhardt Oval and drew a crowd of nearly 9500.

"It was such a surprise. When we first put it on, we didn't think we'd get so many people and they looked like they enjoyed it. It was a good night all round. I was very happy with it," he said.

But for all that, Cheika said there was still a lot of work to do before the first Bledisloe Cup game.

"Guys have been working hard on what it means to play for Australia, and it is starting to sink into our guys' heads how much of an honour it is. It is an honour that many people don't get, and I always say I am the best judge, because I never got to play in one," he said.