Hooper has no 'inferiority complex' as Australia face England

·2-min read
No England complex - Australia captain Michael Hooper (AFP/MICHAEL BRADLEY)

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper has rejected suggestions from Eddie Jones that Australia are spurred on by an "inferiority complex" when it comes to playing England.

The familiar foes renew their rugby rivalry at Twickenham on Saturday, with England coach Jones, himself a native Australian, adamant this is the match that his compatriots want to win above all others.

"It doesn't matter whether it's the Olympics, Test cricket, rugby league... this is the game that defines their season," said Jones, the coach of the Australia side that lost the 2003 World Cup final to England in Sydney.

"This is the game they want to win. We have bit of an inferiority complex against the English, the Australians."

But back-row forward Hooper, asked on Friday about Jones's comments, replied: "I don't feel that way."

The Wallabies have lost all seven Tests against England since Jones took over in 2015 following a World Cup where Australia's 33-13 pool win over England at Twickenham knocked the hosts out of the tournament and led to the departure of then coach Stuart Lancaster.

But the 30-year-old Hooper insisted that sequence of defeats would have no bearing on Saturday's match.

"I don't think England are our most difficult opponents -- we face the Kiwis (New Zealand) three times a year and the record hasn't been amazing there," the flanker said.

"The team changes every year as to who is playing on the field. Our record hasn't been great but every new game is an opportunity and the ledger is all-square when we run out there.

"Previous games don't really factor into this. Saturday is a new day."

Australia head into the Cook Cup clash after a 15-13 loss to Scotland at Murrayfield last weekend that ended their five-match winning streak.

Officials anticipate a capacity crowd of 82,000 at Twickenham, with Hooper, a veteran of 117 Tests, saying: "What an occasion it's going to be. Understanding what the scene is going to be like is important. This will be a level up on Scotland last weekend.

"We've got a lot of players who haven't played up here so we need to understand that the crowd is going to be vocal and loud. It's about using that to an advantage at times."


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