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Is Stephen Moore the next Wallabies captain?

Date

Chris Dutton, David Polkinghorne

Stephen Moore would be a "safe pair of hands" for the leadership reins.

Stephen Moore would be a "safe pair of hands" for the leadership reins. Photo: Jay Cronan

World Cup-winning captains, coaches and players have backed Stephen Moore as the man to lead the Wallabies into the future, Nick Farr-Jones declaring the ACT Brumbies hooker would be a "safe pair of hands" for the leadership reins.

Moore has emerged as the front-runner for the captaincy job as Test coach Ewen McKenzie starts planning for the World Cup.

Farr-Jones, Owen Finegan, Rod Macqueen and Bob Dwyer all believe Moore is ready to shoulder the captaincy duties and lead the Wallabies into their World Cup campaign next year, while Phil Kearns is torn between Moore and Michael Hooper.

McKenzie will announce his new captain on Monday when the team assembles in camp for a three-Test series against France, but Moore's focus is on helping the Brumbies avoid three losses in a row for the first time since 2011.

Moore's credentials – 91 Tests, 130 Super Rugby games, 11 years of experience and two World Cups – are undeniable.

Hooper, James Horwill, Will Genia and Scott Higginbotham are also highly regarded candidates for the job, and a panel of experts dissected the leadership decision.

NICK FARR-JONES

Farr-Jones led the Wallabies to their 1991 World Cup triumph and is rated as one of Australia's greatest leaders.

He said the No.1 priority for the new skipper was that they would automatically be picked in the starting side and lead by example.

"I think Moore and Hooper are the guys who tick the boxes there," Farr-Jones said.

"Moore, he's an automatic selection, he's the bellybutton of the team as far as being in the middle of the scrum, and I think he would be a safe pair of hands for the job.

"I believe the decision has to be with a view to the World Cup and having a consistent captain through to next year."

OWEN FINEGAN

Finegan believes appointing Moore as the new Test skipper would be the "best decision Australian rugby union has made in a number of years".

Former Test coach John Connolly said this week he almost appointed Moore as the Wallabies captain before the 2007 World Cup before opting for the experience of Stirling Mortlock.

Moore has been a mainstay in the Wallabies set-up since making his international debut in 2003 and has been in superb form for the Brumbies.

"He's just got the right attitude, he's a consistent footballer as well. Genia and Horwill have been hot and cold," Finegan said.

"What you see with [Moore] is what you get. He's not going to bring X-factor to the game, but he's one of the best set-piece technicians in the world.

"He's physical and aggressive around the field ... I think he would be a good leader. There are lots of attributes that you want in a good leader.

"When games are tight, you need a good old head, and he reads the game very well."

ROD MACQUEEN

Former Test coach Macqueen teamed with captain John Eales to lead the Wallabies through their most successful era in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Macqueen said good Wallabies teams had been blessed with a plethora of great leaders, not just one captain.

"I'm not close enough to the Wallabies now, but I think Moore has proven himself," Macqueen said.

"He's one of the first picked in the Wallabies these days and he's shown himself, in my opinion, that he's the sort of person that could do very well. He's a viable option.

"To give ourselves the best chance to do well at the World Cup, the more consistency we've got, the better chance we've got."

Hooper, 22, appears destined to be a Wallabies captain in the future.

The former Brumbies flanker and NSW Waratahs star has cemented his standing as Australia's premier No.7 in David Pocock's absence.

"You need a mix of experience and youth ... if all your leaders are the elders in the side, the decision making can go one way. But I think this is a good squad and Ewen will be looking to the future and the World Cup," Macqueen said.

PHIL KEARNS

Kearns is torn between Moore and Hooper to be the new Wallabies captain, adding "I don't think you can lose with either of them".

Moore has the experience, but Hooper is a rising star and already a leader despite his age.

"Maybe if they pick Stephen Moore, then the next obvious guy is Hooper to learn from him," Kearns said.

"I think Michael Hooper has shown enough in his career already to show the mature individual he is and that he can handle the role."

The captaincy duties come with greater expectation and responsibility on and off the field.

Kearns said "tough, disciplined and a good work ethic" were essential traits for the new captain. He wanted the Wallabies to settle on a skipper after four leaders in the past two years.

BOB DWYER

World Cup-winning coach Dwyer's initial preference was to retain Ben Mowen as the Wallabies leader, despite his impending defection to France at the end of the season.

But with McKenzie opting to leave departing players out of the Wallabies squad as he begins planning for the World Cup, Dwyer said: "Stephen Moore is the front-runner for me".

"My criteria for captain is that he's got to be a certain selection, and then he's got to be the sort of person people look up to," he added.

"Stephen Moore clearly satisfies those criteria. He's been a consistent, good player and has probably never played better than he his now ... undoubtedly a world-class player.

"I think [Hooper's] time will come and I think I'd make Steve captain [now]."

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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