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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]."

Super Rugby 2015

Round 1
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
LIO 8 vs HUR 22 Report Stats
BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Report Stats
BUL 17 vs STO 29 Report Stats
WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Report Stats
REB 28 vs WAR 38 Report Stats
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Report Stats
HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Report Stats
RED 18 vs FOR 6 Report Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
STO 27 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HIG 20 vs RED 13 Report Stats
FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
REB 15 vs BRU 20 Report Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Report Stats
LIO 19 vs STO 22 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 17 vs HIG 20 Report Stats
BRU 27 vs FOR 15 Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU 10 vs LIO 13 Report Stats
RED 5 vs WAR 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT 20 vs BUL 39 Report Stats
STO 29 vs SHA 13 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 30 vs BLU 23 Report Stats
FOR 17 vs REB 21 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 34 vs LIO 6 Report Stats
HIG 26 vs WAR 19 Report Stats
RED vs BRU 29 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
STO 19 vs CHF 28 Report Stats
CHT 10 vs SHA 27 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG 13 vs HUR 20 Report Stats
REB 16 vs LIO 20 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 57 vs CHT 14 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 25 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
SHA 12 vs CHF 11 Report Stats
WAR 28 vs BRU 13 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 36 vs REB 12 Report Stats
RED 17 vs LIO 18 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 37 vs CHT 27 Report Stats
HIG 39 vs STO 21 Report Stats
WAR 23 vs BLU 11 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
SHA 15 vs FOR 9 Report Stats
BUL 31 vs CRU 19 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
HUR 25 vs STO 20 Report Stats
REB 23 vs RED 15 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
CHF 23 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
BRU 20 vs CHT 3 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
SHA 10 vs CRU 52 Report Stats
LIO 22 vs BUL 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BLU 16 vs BRU 14 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 20 vs HIG 25 Report Stats
WAR 18 vs STO 32 Report Stats
FOR 15 vs CHT 24 Report Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO 23 vs SHA 21 Report Stats
BUL 43 vs RED 22 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 9 vs CHF 26 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
HUR 24 vs WAR 29 Report Stats
HIG 30 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
BRU 8 vs REB 13 Report Stats
FOR 6 vs STO 13 Report Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
SHA 10 vs BUL 17 Report Stats
CHT 17 vs RED 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF 35 vs FOR 27 Report Stats
BRU 31 vs HIG 18 Report Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 29 vs BLU 15 Report Stats
WAR 18 vs REB 16 Report Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO 34 vs CHT 29 Report Stats
STO 15 vs BUL 13 Report Stats
RED 19 vs HUR 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG 48 vs SHA 15 Report Stats
BRU 10 vs WAR 13 Report Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 41 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
HUR 29 vs CRU 23 Report Stats
REB 16 vs CHF 15 Report Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 25 vs STO 17 Report Stats
BUL 35 vs LIO 33 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU vs RED 17:35AMI
REB vs BLU 19:40AAMI
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR vs SHA 17:35WS
FOR vs WAR 19:40nib Stadium
LIO vs HIG 23:00Emirates Airlines Park
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
STO vs BRU 01:05DHL Newlands
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU vs BUL 17:35EP
RED vs REB 19:40SS
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR vs CHF 17:35WS
WAR vs SHA 19:40AS
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
LIO vs BRU 01:05Emirates Airlines Park
CHT vs HIG 03:10FSS
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
CHF vs BUL 17:35Rotorua International Stadium
RED vs SHA 19:40SS
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU vs HUR 17:35Emirates Airlines Park
WAR vs CRU 19:40ANZ
FOR vs HIG 21:45nib Stadium
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT vs LIO 01:05FSS
STO vs REB 03:10DHL Newlands
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU vs HUR 17:35Trafalgar Park
BRU vs BUL 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA vs REB 03:10Growthpoint Kings Park
HIG vs CHF 17:35Rugby Park
FOR vs RED 19:40nib Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
STO vs CHT 01:05DHL Newlands
LIO vs WAR 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR vs HIG 17:35McLean Park
FOR vs BRU 21:00nib Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
REB vs BUL 15:30AAMI
BLU vs CRU 17:35EP
RED vs CHF 19:40SS
CHT vs WAR 23:00FSS
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
STO vs LIO 01:05DHL Newlands
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
BLU vs HIG 17:35EP
REB vs FOR 19:40AAMI
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
BRU vs CRU 15:30GIO Stadium
CHF vs HUR 17:35Yarrow Stadium
WAR vs RED 19:40AS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
BUL vs CHT 01:05Loftus Versfeld
SHA vs STO 03:10Growthpoint Kings Park
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 09:00
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 09:00
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 09:00
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 09:00
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 09:00
View All Fixtures
Super Rugby 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Hurricanes 10 9 1 0 107 43
Bulls 11 7 4 0 48 34
Brumbies 11 6 5 0 93 32
Chiefs 11 8 3 0 77 38
Waratahs 10 7 3 0 32 31
Stormers 11 7 4 0 25 30
Highlanders 10 7 3 0 53 33
Lions 11 6 5 0 -45 27
View all
 
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