There was a time in Michael Hooper's infancy as Wallabies captain he thought asking for help was a sign of weakness, a sign he wasn't fit for the job.
So many have questioned whether he was the right man for the role, but the three people who mattered most put their faith in the Manly product.
Hooper was thrust into captaincy duties by Ewen McKenzie at the age of 22, making him the youngest Wallabies captain since Ken Catchpole in 1961. Michael Cheika and Dave Rennie saw no need to change the hierarchy.
"You have 15 Michael Hoopers out there, you're pretty tough to beat," Rennie said.
Now Hooper is set to equal George Gregan's record for most Tests as Wallabies captain in his 59th Test as skipper, which comes against South Africa on the Gold Coast on Sunday.
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A place in the record books alongside Gregan, a man whose record he should surpass next week and one of Hooper's favourite players growing up, is a testament to his will.
"He was nice enough to shoot me a text yesterday which brought a smile to the face. He was a top player and a top bloke," Hooper said.
"I've been largely trying to pick myself up from last week. It was a tough three games hey, and we've all had to do that in our own ways this week. In terms of the milestone, it's not the reason why you play the team sport. It's probably something post the career I'll look at.
"It's going back a long time now to when I first started. When I was younger in a captaincy role, you try to have the appearance not that you know it all but you've got it sorted. In fact, it's the total opposite.
"I definitely thought at the time if I was reaching out for help or assistance it showed a sign of weakness, or that you shouldn't be in that role. Had I had my time again, I would just be an open book at that stage.
"I definitely was open to input but was almost nervous to ask for it for a lot of the time. If I had the time again, that's certainly something I would do different. [Now] I'm more than happy to be challenged and look at those things with a different cap on."
One can never question Hooper's desire in a Wallabies jersey.
"His work ethic, I've coached a lot of people around the world, and I have never seen anyone who trains as hard and plays as hard as he does. He's been incredible," Rennie said.
"He has really grown in his leadership, he has a huge amount of respect within the group and he delivers on what he demands of others. Hell of an achievement for him."
Allan Alaalatoa sees Hooper delivers on those demands every week. He's the kind of leader the ACT Brumbies captain wants to be.
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"I think firstly, the thing about Hoops is he backs everything up on the field. He's a man that walks the talk. I think we can all see that by the way he is delivering week in, week out," Alaalatoa said.
"He's one that always puts his body on the line. For him as a leader, no matter what he says, I'm always going to back him into the trenches.
"He has a great balance now where he is using a lot of his leadership group to deliver different messages around the team, or to get a good feel of the group. That's probably something I have learned a lot from him.
"Most importantly, it's just the way he delivers on his own job week in, week out, and always leads by his actions."
THE RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
Sunday: New Zealand v Argentina at 5.05pm; South Africa v Australia at 8.05pm, Robina Stadium, Gold Coast.
Wallabies squad: 1. Angus Bell, 2. Folau Fainga'a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 4. Izack Rodda, 5. Matt Philip, 6. Lachlan Swinton, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 8. Rob Valetini, 9. Tate McDermott, 10. Quade Cooper, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Samu Kerevi, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Andrew Kellaway, 15. Tom Banks. Replacements: 16. Feleti Kaitu'u, 17. James Slipper, 18. Taniela Tupou, 19. Rob Leota, 20. Pete Samu, 21. Nic White, 22. Reece Hodge, 23. Jordan Petaia.
Springboks squad: 1. Steven Kitshoff, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 3. Frans Malherbe, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 5. Lood de Jager, 6. Siya Kolisi (c), 7. Franco Mostert, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 9. Faf de Klerk, 10. Handré Pollard, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 12. Damian de Allende, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 14. Sbu Noksi, 15. Willie le Roux. Replacements: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Ox Nché, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. Marco van Staden, 20. Kwagga Smith, 21. Jasper Wiese, 22. Herschel Jantjies, 23. Damian Willemse.
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