Stephen Moore was reappointed Australia rugby captain on Monday to lead the Wallabies at the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
Moore was originally named to the post before the Wallabies played France in Brisbane last June, becoming Australia’s 81st test captain. But the hooker played only one minute of his first match in the role before suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, which ruled him out of the remainder of the 2014 season.
”I didn’t get much of a crack at it last year so I’m getting many of the same feelings and emotions that I had last year,” Moore said. ”I missed out on all the games last year, so for me personally, I feel really fresh mentally.”
Flanker Michael Hooper, who took over the captaincy from Moore, was named an assistant captain on Monday, along with veteran utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper.
The 32-year-old Moore, a veteran of 92 tests, will lead Australia in this season’s shortened Rugby Championship against Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa before the World Cup begins in Britain in September.
Moore led the Canberra-based ACT Brumbies to the Super Rugby final in 2014 and the semifinals this year.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said Moore won the captaincy on his record, his seniority and his experience. He also noted the respect Moore was given when he interacted with Wallabies players at the team’s training camp.
”I just liked the way he went about his business there,” Cheika said. ”And I’ve liked everything I’ve heard when other players talk about him, the way he talks about looking out for the team, and also preparing for his own performance.”
Australia, now ranked sixth in the world, has been drawn in the toughest pool at the World Cup alongside co-hosts England and Wales, who are ranked fourth and fifth in the world, respectively. Only two of those three teams will qualify for the tournament’s knockout rounds.
Meanwhile, winger Nick Cummins was called up to Australia’s 40-man squad on Monday as a replacement for Henry Speight, who is on leave due to the death of his grandfather.
The Wallabies play their first test of the season against South Africa at Brisbane on July 18.