10th December 09:31 PM
Returning players add to Wallabies hunger - Hooper
By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/08/2019
Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper [Photo:Stuff.co]

Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper says they are hungrier than ever to snap their Bledisloe Cup drought thanks to the trio of players brought back into the Test fold.

Veterans Nic White, Christian Lealiifano and James O'Connor will play against the All Blacks in Perth tonight after long absences, and Hooper says it's stoked the fire to break the 17‑year Bledisloe Cup drought.

Inspirational five‑eighth Lealiifano hasn't played in a trans‑Tasman duel since 2013 and has subsequently battled leukemia.

Hooper said the Brumbies playmaker would bring a cool head to the clash.

O'Connor also hasn't tasted Bledisloe action since 2013, cut adrift from the Wallabies soon after a series of off‑field indiscretions.

Named at outside centre, O'Connor, now 29, has impressed his captain in his second coming.

White returned to chase a World Cup berth this year after a four‑year absence playing in the UK and his sparkling form has relegated usual starter Will Genia to the bench.

The Wallabies play the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup opener at 9.45pm tonight while South Africa will play Argentina in the Rugby Championship at 7.40am tomorrow.



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