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Australia: Michael Hooper - Fraser McGrath, a good fight from a distance

Australia: Michael Hooper – Fraser McGrath, a good fight from a distance

A new third line has emerged from the Brisbane side. His name is Fraser McGrath, but the problem is, he plays on the same record as Michael Hooper, the captain of the Wallabies.

In the third row Australia sees the birth of a new gem called Fraser McGrath. The former Australian Under-20 captain starts the season with the Reds with a bang. He is referred to as one of the spearheads of the Brisbane franchise in every one of his appearances. During a match against the Hurricanes, we saw it recently, even though his team eventually lost.

Rennie loves diversity

The question of his future arises because, in his path, the captain of the Wallabies, at the age of 30, with 115 hats on the clock, is the captain of Michael Hooper Wardahs. Dave Rennie, the coach of Australia, has no intention of fielding the two players together in a Wallabies jersey, otherwise it does not hide the fact that it will upset the balance of his third row.

In fact, both players have the same physique (1m84 for 102kg for Hooper, 101kg for 1m82 for McRight) and a similar game format – much stronger in defense and scratching, better ball in hand. We remember the experience of the third two lines with a similar profile already tried in Australia in the early 2000s with George Smith and Bill Waugh and during the 2015 World Cup with the Bogok-Hooper duo. Those times seem to be over. And Dave Rennie will have to make tough choices in the coming months.

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In Australia, people in the federation are worried that Fraser McGrath may be a role model for young talent, as a French or English club may be trying to get paid. We know that at the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere modern players were less and less likely to monetize their skills. Fraser McGrath already has two caps, one replacement against the All Blacks in 2020 and 2021 each. But he was not selected during Wallabies’ last European tour.

But there is no question in choosing the easiest solution for him, to be deported as a thirst in Europe or Japan: ” I was clear about my desire to play for the Wallabies team. It is in my hands to give my best in training and competitions to get a place in the team. But I want to be there.

Everyone thinks the Englishman’s next tour of Australia will be a test for him. If he’s not on the match sheets, it’s underestimated, no one is close to Hooper or nobody understands if Rennie changes his song.