Australia leaves co-captain out of World Cup squad, according to Michael Hooper.
Coach Eddie Jones has left out flanker Michael Hooper and fly-half Quade Cooper from Australia’s World Cup roster.
Hooper, who has captained the Wallabies for the past decade, and 80-cap fly-half Cooper were the only players left out of the 33-man squad.
Lock Will Skelton has been elected captain, with scrum-half Tate McDermott named vice-captain.
Australia’s World Cup group includes Wales, Fiji, Georgia, and Portugal.
Hooper, who has played 125 times for Australia since 2012, was selected co-captain of the Wallabies for the Rugby Championship earlier this year with James Slipper but only played in the opening loss to South Africa before being sidelined by a calf injury.
Cooper, 35, was anticipated to be Australia’s starting fly-half in France after returning to the squad from a ruptured Achilles.
Carter Gordon, who appeared in his maiden Test last month, will now travel to France as Australia’s sole specialist number 10, with Ben Donaldson, who has appeared in two internationals, serving as a utility player.
There was also a surprise in the captaincy, with France-based lock Skelton taking up alongside McDermott, who led the team for the first time last week against New Zealand.
Despite having only played a few of Super Rugby matches before being sidelined with a knee injury in late May, uncapped teenager Max Jorgensen was also named to the team as an outside back.
Australia is ranked seventh in the world and has yet to win a Test match in four attempts since Jones took over as coach in January in place of Dave Rennie.
Jones is upbeat, and his 33-man squad has an average age of 26 and 20 Test caps per player.
That is Australia’s lowest World Cup score since the Wallabies won the tournament in 1991.
“The experts have given up on us. “No one believes we can do it, but we do,” Jones added.
“I’ve supported the young men because they deserved it.” It’s as simple as that. I haven’t given it to them yet. They took it.
“It’s exciting for me to come to work every day with these guys who are constantly striving to improve, learn, and grow.”
“Generally, the team that improves the most is the team that wins, and that is the task we have set ourselves.”
“We have been improving and will continue to improve.”
Forwards: Taniela Tupou, Pone Fa’amausili, Zane Nonggorr, Blake Schoupp, Angus Bell, Dave Porecki, Matt Faessler, Jordan Uelese, Richie Arnold, Nick Frost, Will Skelton, Matt Philip, Fraser McReight, Tom Hooper, Rob Valetini, Rob Leota, Langi Gleeson.
Backs: Tate McDermott, Nic White, Carter Gordon, Ben Donaldson, Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Samu Kerevi, Jordan Petaia, Max Jorgensen, Andrew Kellaway, Marika Koroibete, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Suliasi Vunivalu, Josh Kemeny.