Dave Rennie has declared Michael Hooper an all-time "Wallaby great" arsenic helium prepares to interruption George Gregan's grounds of 59 Tests arsenic Australia's captain.
Hooper's tenure has coincided with an mean tally of results by Wallabies standards and his credentials to stay person person regularly been questioned.
But portion the up and down squad performances continue, that chatter has been doused this play with the openside flanker astatine the highest of his carnal and captaincy powers.
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A stint successful Japan's little physically demanding Top League has done the 29-year-old the satellite of bully and the 'c' is sitting much comfortably beside his name.
"If radical questioned his quality arsenic a player, I'm gobsmacked," manager Rennie told reporters connected Thursday up of Saturday's rematch with the satellite champion Springboks.
"If you speech to players each astir the world, he's hugely respected.
"People's opinions are often reflected connected the occurrence of a team, and he's been the captain, truthful due to the fact that the squad loses and he's the skipper that work is connected him.
"He's a Wallaby great. If helium was playing successful a antithetic epoch with a squad afloat of experienced and seasoned players and you're dominating the world, you'd spell down arsenic 1 of the champion players successful the world. I inactive deliberation he'll get that mantle."
"He's conscionable truthful resilient. Even the different time against the All Blacks, Brodie Retallick splits him open, helium gets 20 unusual stitches, puts a chapeau connected and jumps backmost connected retired determination and gives the aforesaid intensity."
Nic White, Taniela Tupou and James Slipper person travel into the starting broadside for Tate McDermott, Allan Alaalatoa and Angus Bell respectively, with Quade Cooper retained astatine five-eighth and a acceptable James O'Connor surplus to requirements.
"I've been astir a while, truthful I've made tons of decisions implicit the years," Rennie said.
"It's not conscionable what they bash connected a crippled day, it's the mode they're training, the mode they're preparing.
"We're not frightened of making courageous decisions."
Fullback Tom Banks has held his starting spot contempt suggestions from erstwhile Wallabies Chris Latham and Elton Flatley that O'Connor could oust him astatine 15.
"The players and coaches person got astir me, they've enactment a batch of assurance successful maine and the crippled program we're trying to execute is thing I'm truly enjoying and has travel a agelong way," Banks said.
"You're successful a Wallabies environment, everyone's competing for positions.
"James is simply a fantastic player, helium showed what helium tin bash successful Super Rugby and there's ever going to beryllium contention for spots, truthful you've conscionable got to support performing."