Hooper played a full 80 minutes in the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship opener – scoring a try in their 24-20 victory over the Springboks – while Pocock completed an entire shift in Australia’s 34-9 win over Argentina.
Cheika said he was proud of his side’s effort and did his best to play down any hype surrounding the win. “But we’ve been here before, we’ve lost games before and doesn’t mean to say we’ve become a bad side”, Hansen said.
Read said Cheika’s decision to start both Pocock and Hooper probably placed even more emphasis on the breakdown battle. Nepo Laulala also continues his impressive rise with a spot on the bench for the rested Wyatt Crockett.
The Pumas had an historic win here last October, overcoming a 14-0 deficit to beat Australia 21-17 to claim their first victory ever in the Rugby Championship – it took 18 tests against the three southern hemisphere heavyweights before the milestone was achieved.
Cooper is competing with New South Wales Waratah Bernard Foley for the starting role against the Springboks in Brisbane on Saturday after recovering from a shoulder injury that wiped out a large stretch of his Super Rugby season.