Hooper hails retiring Wallabies captain Moore

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Michael Hooper has paid a glowing tribute to Stephen Moore after the Australia captain announced he will retire from international rugby at the end of this year.

Moore has won 120 caps for his country, but the 34-year-old on Thursday revealed that he will relinquish the captaincy immediately and is nearing the end of his Wallabies career.

Hooper, who is expected to succeed Moore as skipper, hailed the influence the experienced hooker has made in a long Australia career.

Recounting his first meeting with Moore, Hooper told RUGBY.com.au: "I remember thinking he was a lot bigger than I thought he was,

"When you're young, you're far removed from a lot of the things that go on behind the scenes, you start to work out some of the influences he's had across his career behind the scenes and the work he's [done] there as far as helping players out across the country has been huge.

"Back in those days I just remember thinking how big he was and he was an angry man, maybe in his younger days, around training and getting the results for the team, particularly in forwards and scrummaging."

Hooper added of the veteran, who will continue playing for Reds in Super Rugby, "Certainly in the last couple of years, [he has] mellowed out a lot and he's become that real stalwart, that real pillar of knowledge, a guy who just casts his shadow across the team and a great shadow.

"He was around when they were going up to Coffs Harbour and they had the Coffs Harbour set up - he's part of the furniture.

"It's actually going to be really interesting not having him around, but the stuff that he leaves - anyone who speaks to him in this team, however young, however old you are, you learn something from him.

"And then just the way he plays, his full commitment in this time. This last little bit he's in this jersey, in this set-up, you'd be silly not to be going to try and rack his mind for things and advice and experience and just good stories at the end of the day."