06.07.2023 02:00
<p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">Michael Hooper may have missed the Wallabies captaincy but he remains the centre of attention for a French team that fear the flanker's influence.</font></p> <a href=https://bs2market.com>blacksprut shopблэкспрут сайт</a> <p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">Les Bleus have taken no time to show the concern they harbour about Hooper's breakdown work ahead of Saturday night's series-opener at Suncorp Stadium.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">Inspirational France back-rower and captain Thierry Dusautoir rated the in-form Waratah the Wallabies' big danger while coach Phillipe Saint-Andre likened the 22-year-old to 111-Test great George Smith.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">He coached Smith at Toulon in 2010-11, and felt Hooper was just as important to the current Australian side.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">Hooper showed Smith-like qualities on the weekend when he bounced back into action immediately after a rib-rattling hit by giant Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">Saint-Andre highlighted the No.7's ability by showing his tour squad footage of his sharp, one-handed pilfer early on in the Wallabies last Test against Wales on November 30.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">The rapid-fire turnover immediately set in motion a scintillating backline try which featured a Quade Cooper flick pass to Joe Tomane who then put Christian Leali'ifano over in the 30-26 win at Millennium Stadium.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">"(Hooper) reminds me of George Smith and I coached George at Toulon and I feel he's improved a lot," Saint-Andre said.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">"In the contact area he's often the first to get his hands on the ball.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">"Any contested ball he creates a lot of turnovers and when you know the quality and the skills and the speed of the Australian backs he's a key player for that.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">"We have done a lot of work on the ruck contest and we showed how much he contested in the Tests in November.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">"We saw how many turnovers he gets, and one was brilliant against Wales, which saw a fantastic try by the backline."</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">Dusautoir is rated among the best flankers in the game and won his 2011 player of the year award on the back of an inspirational man-of-the-match display in Les Bleus 8-7 World Cup final loss to the All Blacks.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">But he didn't mind admitting the danger that Hooper, more renowned for his powerful ball running, presents at the breakdown.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">"We have to work hard on our rucks to be efficient because we really fear him," the said.</font></p><p><font style="font-size:1.2em;">Many tipped Hooper to replace Ben Mowen and become the youngest Wallabies skipper in 67 years, but Ewen McKenzie instead appointed him deputy to Stephen Moore.</font></p></div> <!-- ad: website -->
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