Hooper eyes Lions

Australia flanker Michael Hooper was just 10-years-old the last time the Lions jetted Down Under - but the 2001 series decider is still etched in his memory and he is determined to grab his own piece of the action. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Australia flanker Michael Hooper was just 10-years-old the last time the Lions jetted Down Under – but the 2001 series decider is still etched in his memory and he is determined to grab his own piece of the action.

The Wallabies 2012 rookie was sat in the crowd at Stadium Australia, now the ANZ, wearing his replica kit as Matt Burke broke British & Irish hearts.

"I was sitting in the middle of the Lions crowd and they were mental," said Hooper.

"I was with my mum and my brother. My dad was somewhere else, with some Pommies or something. ANZ Stadium still had the ends on the stadium, so we were on one of the ends and we won. I remember that, it was pretty cool."

Fast forward 11-years and Hooper is one of the most highly-rated young flankers in the game and has proved himself an able deputy to David Pocock.

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The Lions arrive Down Under in June 2013 and Hooper is well aware of the magnitude of the tour.

"It only happens once every 12 years so it's a once-in-a-career opportunity, really, it will be a privilege to be a part of," added Hooper.

"Already everyone's pretty pumped in the camp about it, not even Nathan Sharpe has played against them, it's that rare. It's things like that that make it special."

And the tour will pack an extra bit of spice for Hooper, who has plenty of British family. His father David was born in England before moving, settling and marrying in Australia.

Hooper therefore, could have represented England before pledging his allegiance to the green and gold but he insists there will be no split of loyalties within the family household.

And the Lions, Australia travel to these shores for the autumn internationals and Hoopers parents David and Raeleen, will also be making the trip.

"I could have had an English passport and before playing for Australia I could have played for England, but for me there wasn't really a choice. I just always wanted to play for Australia,” added Hooper.

"Dad will definitely be wearing his Wallabies jersey, if he doesn't I think we should revoke his citizenship!”

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