Rugby Union 1 year ago

Hooper scoops prestigious Eales medal

  • Hooper scoops prestigious Eales medal

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 27: Michael Hooper speaks on stage after winning the John Eales Medal during the 2016 John Eales Medal at Royal Randwick Racecourse on October 27, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Wallabies star Michael Hooper has joined an exclusive group to claim the prestigious John Eales medal for the second time.

The 24-year-old flanker easily scooped up the players' player honour on Thursday night at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, outpointing runner-up David Pocock by almost 100 votes.

Hooper joins Israel Folau, George Smith and Nathan Sharpe as the only players to wear the medal twice in its 14-year history.

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The prize caps off a stellar year for the Wallabies' vice-captain, who had been crowned Australia's man-of-the-match in half of the six Tests on home soil.

"Michael has an enviable talent and is a wonderful ambassador for our game," ARU boss Bill Pulver said.

"Time and time again, he shows an unparalleled commitment to all that he does in the gold jersey. He thoroughly deserves to receive this accolade for the second time," he said.

Hooper started in all but three of the Wallabies' 18 Tests over the past year in a campaign that earned him high praise on Thursday from Pulver.

"Over the past 12 months, Michael has been consistently one of the most impressive players in the world," he said.

"And this was never more evident than during last year's World Cup when he combined masterfully with David Pocock to steer Australia to the final."

Dane Haylett-Petty was the Wallabies' rookie of the year, Sean McMahon took out the Super Rugby player of the year gong and Ed Jenkins' was the men's sevens' best.

Charlotte Caslick followed up her outstanding Olympic campaign with the women's sevens player of the year, while Wallaroos captain Ash Hewson was the women's player of the year.

TOP FIVE WALLABIES FOR JOHN EALES GONG:

* Michael Hooper

* David Pocock

* Bernard Foley

* Will Genia

* Israel Folau

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