It's taken a while to get round to it, but at least the Wallabies have woken up to the fact that they were never going to get their hands on the Bledisloe Cup with Stephen Moore as their captain.

Moore, when he first became a Wallaby regular, always seemed like a fair dinkum, straight up, no nonsense sort of bloke.

When he became captain in 2014 it seemed like it was a decision made on the basis he was a steady character appointed to steady a rocking ship.

But a serious knee injury struck him down in 2014 and he missed most of the season. It would have been harsh, but maybe it would have been for the best that when he returned, the Wallabies had persevered with Michael Hooper who had been elevated to the role in Moore's absence.


By the time Moore returned in 2015, he felt like yesterday's man. He wasn't a commanding presence on the field.

He didn't even necessarily convince as Australia's best hooker as Tatafau Polota-Nau always seemed to bring more dynamism and energy when he came off the bench.

And that was the other thing, Moore was a 60-minute man throughout 2015 and 2016 and that didn't work well for the Wallabies.

The captain needs to be able to go the distance. The captain has to be on the field in that final quarter when so much tends to happen: when decision-making becomes so critical.

Moore was a metaphor for the Wallabies - they couldn't hang tough for long enough. They were good, but only up to a point and the All Blacks could sense that weakness.

They could sense that the Wallabies didn't have the killer instinct they needed and that Moore had neither the mental nor phsyical capacity to instil it within them.

The best teams tend to reflect the qualities of their skipper and by last year, that had beome true with the Wallabies, but not with positive effects.

Moore looked like a player struggling with the demands of test football and his captaincy became marked by his relentless capacity to whine at referees and query their every decision.

It was a style that pervaded as the Wallabies cast themselves in that same mode - actively looking for ways to niggle opponents through any means - verbal chipping, jersey pulling, scuffling, obstructing...anything to irritate.

It didn't have any other affect than damaging the Wallabies reputation and lowering their chances of winning and Moore, increasingly became white noise during his tenure to the extent, that by the second Bledisloe test last year he was continually shooed-away by referee Romain Poite who didn't want to engage with Moore.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was incensed by the treatment of his skipper and while it was wrong of Poite to be so dismissive, it should have been sending a clear message to the Wallabies that they were viewed poorly on the international stage as a side prone to bleating and working the cheap angles.

It should have served as a clear indication to Cheika that he needed to change his captain, which he has now done, albeit 12 months later.

The installation of Michael Hooper as captain gives the Wallabies the feel of a team on the brink of a new beginning.

Hooper is many things Moore wasn't. He's an 80-minute man. He's assured of his starting place. He's dynamic, energetic and while he's fesity and at times prone to indulging in off the ball nonsense, he's a character with a greater prospect of inspiring others.

His reputation with international referees is not so tarnished as Moore's and the Wallabies can expect to have better rapport with match officials, and most likely, better outcomes.

The All Blacks probably don't like him much, but they certainly respect him as he's a talent. He's a player who will be in their faces, but more legitmately and effectively than Moore and he's a player that who will be on the field late in the piece, making his influence felt.

If the Wallabies can assume at least some of the qualities of Hooper, then they will instantly be a better team.