Hooper targets Bledisloe opener comeback

Michael Hooper is hopeful of being declared fit to face New Zealand in the first match of the Bledisloe Cup as Australia's captain continues his recovery from a torn hamstring.

Hooper, 26, suffered the muscle injury during the third Test against Ireland in Sydney in June, forcing him to miss the conclusion of the Waratahs' Super Rugby season.

However, the flanker was able to take part in the Wallabies' training session in New South Wales on Monday, and he could yet line up against the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium on August 18.

"It's feeling good. I am a little off the pace," Hooper told rugby.com.au.

"It's the first real footy I have played in over six weeks, but I am comfortable in how the injury has progressed in getting here and I have had great rehab.

"I am putting myself in the best position to get myself right for the first game.

"Hiccups aside, with a week of training, I should be in a good position next week."

Asked how he felt watching his Waratahs team-mates from the sidelines, Hooper said: "I don't want to ever get better at that. I want to get back on the field, but it's given me a different perspective at some of the great things that go on around rugby. 

"It's been enjoyable to give my body a rest, but I want to get back on the field."

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