Hooper happy to hold Test reins for Moore

Michael Hooper says he’s more prepared for his second coming as Wallabies skipper, even if it’s only temporary.


Hooper will lead Australia out on to AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon against Fiji almost three years after he was first handed the role as a 22-year-old.

Then he replaced Stephen Moore because of a serious knee injury but this time the veteran hooker has been relegated to the bench through form.

While proud to get another opportunity, Hooper said Moore was still the Wallabies captain and he would happily hand the title back.

“Steve is the captain of this team and he has done a great job for the last couple of years and will continue to do a great job so I’m super keen to keep learning off him,” Hooper said.

“I’m very proud to lead the team and if that takes a bit of weight off Steve’s shoulders then great, and when he steps back into the role I will be there to support him.”

Hooper was forced to lead the Wallabies through a period of turmoil in 2014 when teammate Kurtley Beale was involved in a texting scandal with team official Di Patston, which ultimately led to the resignation of coach Ewen McKenzie.

Also the Waratahs skipper, Hooper felt it was his making as a captain.

“I wouldn’t change anything from then,” the 25-year-old flanker said.

“I always understood the privilege that it was but if I look at myself then, I was young and it was tough but that’s why I wouldn’t change it because I did learn a lot.

“I probably aged 20 years in that time but you’re sometimes put in these positions and you do the best you can I believe I did that.”

Moore was confirmed on the bench following the final training session at AAMI Park, while two other players were named to make a possible Test debut in baby-faced Brumbies halfback Joe Powell and Namibian-born, Perth-raised backrower Richard Hardwick.

With code-hopping inside centre Karmichael Hunt and blindside flanker Ned Hanigan named in the starting side, that means four players could earn their first Test caps.

Hooper said the team had been working hard in the few days they had had together to bed down their plays and patterns, predicting Fiji to be a formidable opponent in the forwards as well as the trade-mark razzle-dazzle from their backs.

“Last time we played them in Wales at the World Cup in 2015 it was a really tough hit-out,” he said.

“They’re obviously big guys who can run and tackle but the challenge at the set piece was definitely up there.

“It will be a big focus for us tomorrow, to try to get our set piece on the front foot in all facets.”

Rescuers racing to free beached humpback whale on NSW mid-north coast

Between 6.


15am and 7 am this morning, Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) received multiple calls about a beached whale at beached in Sawtell, in northern NSW.

The 10-tonne whale was found stranded on the sandbar at high tide.

ORRCA vice president Shona Loriga said experts arrived on site “very quickly” following the phone calls.

There is currently a team of up to 60 people assisting the whale including volunteers from ORRCA, Dolphin Marine Magic, National Parks and Wildlife Service and the NSW Police.

#sawtellwhale update: est 1-2 years old, no obvious injuries. Vet assess to come on outgoing tide. NPWS @ORRCA_Inc & Marine Magic on site.

— Environment+Heritage (@OEHmedia) June 9, 2017

The priority is to complete a veterinary assessment on the whale.

Ms Lorigan said assessments can take time and high tide presents several challenges to vets completing assessments.

“We currently have the best-trained rescuers there,” she said.

Humpback whale beached at Sawtell, NSW.Office of Environment and Heritage

The young whale’s lack of experience in migration, poor health, east coast blows and rough surf conditions are possible reasons for its beaching.

The stress of stranding and constant “rolling in the surf” has taken its toll on the whale’s health, Ms Lorigan said.

#sawtellwhale: trained experts re-positioning whale to assist its breathing @ORRCA_Inc pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/tfrHWCBMbt

— Environment+Heritage (@OEHmedia) June 9, 2017

Senior Wildlife Officer Susan Crocetti said as they learn more about the whale’s health, experts will be able to plan a safe way to assist it in getting back out to sea.

The mid-north coast has seen previous success in assisting beached whales, although each situation is unique.

Long day ahead @ORRCA_Inc + Marine Magic + NPWS + vet onsite @ sub-adult #sawtellwhale. Low tide now. Assessing options for high tide. pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/2DnpRhXpbr

— Environment+Heritage (@OEHmedia) June 9, 2017

Ms Crocetti said if beachgoers see a beached whale, their first priority should be personal safety.

“We don’t want anyone becoming injured trying to help a whale,” she said.

Ms Lorigan said it would be a “life-threatening” situation if someone became trapped underneath a whale.

“Situations like these require a multi-agency response,” she said.

Injured or distressed marine mammals should be reported to ORRCA’s 24-hour hotline on 02 9415 3333.

Stranded humpback whale at Sawtell, NSW. Stranded humpback whale at Sawtell


Bombers launch bid for AFL Women’s team

Essendon have joined the growing number of clubs clambering to join an expanded AFL Women’s competition in 2019.


The Bombers officially launched their bid, which includes an $18 million redevelopment of their Tullamarine headquarters, on Friday.

The AFL last month decided against expanding the women’s league next year despite the success of its inaugural season.

All 10 AFL clubs who didn’t participate in the first season were given the opportunity to apply for a licence to field a team in an expanded competition in 2019.

Geelong, North Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast were granted provisional licenses for the inaugural season but were ultimately unsuccessful in their bid to join the eight-team league.

A minimum of two new clubs will be introduced in 2019 with those five clubs given priority weighting in the selection process.

But Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell believes his club has put together a strong case for inclusion.

“It’s been something the club has had great intent to do for some time … (but) we’re probably 12 months behind where we would have liked to have been,” he said.

“There are some pretty natural elements that are going to make up our submission … linking strongly to indigenous remote communities and the north-west of Melbourne.”

The Bombers are pledging to play an AFLW game at a remote indigenous community, as well as Craigieburn and the club’s spiritual home at Windy Hill if successful.

Club legend Michael Long’s daughter Michaela has already spurned interest from other AFLW clubs and is pinning her hopes on running out for the Bombers in 2019.

“The Essendon footy club is the be-all and end-all for me … I didn’t want to be anywhere else,” Long said.

“I looked at GWS and the only reason why was because (former Bombers performance boss) John Quinn was there … I remember him working with dad when I was young.

“I looked at Geelong, they didn’t get their licence but maybe playing VFL with them, but I’m happy to wait as long as it takes to get a gig at Essendon.”

The AFL is expected to make a decision on AFLW expansion in late July.

‘Stupid, useless, racist’: Former president of Mexico’s message for Donald Trump

After catalysing one of the more poignant viral hashtags at the beginning of this year, Vicente Fox has returned to deliver a message to the President of the United States amid the noise surrounding James Comey’s testimony.


“Mexico will not pay for the f—– wall,” Fox opens the video, shared on social channel Super Deluxe.

“Donald, under no circustances will we pay for this stupid, useless, racist monument.”

The video, posted on Wednesday, has since amassed more than 21 million views, surely in part due to the former president’s directness.

“I know when you came up wih the idea, all the experts thought it would work.

“But the ‘bad hombres’ have gotten more sophisticated since then. They are even sharing plans on the internet,” he said, holding up a hand-drawn “schematic” of a ladder.

“You’re going to build a $25 billion wall that can be defeated by a $25 ladder?

“Be honest, Donald. This wall isn’t going to stop anyone who really wants to cross the border. It’s just going to make your country weaker, and poorer, and less respected by the rest of the world.”

In January, the day after Sean Spicer proclaimed Mexico would fund Trump’s vision of the wall, Mr Fox tweeted, “Mexico is not going to pay for that f—— wall,” punctuated by the hashtag #F——Wall.

The hashtag struck a chord with Twitter users globally, trending worldwide.

Sean Spicer, I’ve said this to @realDonaldTrump and now I’ll tell you: Mexico is not going to pay for that fucking wall. #FuckingWall

— Vicente Fox Quesada (@VicenteFoxQue) January 25, 2017

However this time, Mr Fox extrapolated, detailing ways in which the US could better spend the estimated $25 billion it would cost to construct the border wall – roughly $10 billion more than was initially quoted.

“For $25 billion, you could provide clean drinking water to the entire planet for three years,” he says in the video. “Isn’t that a better legacy than a pointless wall of hate?

“Here are some other options for the $25 billion: you could end world hunger for one year; you could hire 50,000 teachers for a decade, or pay for the college educations for 250,000 students.”

Mr Fox also rubbished the conditions upon which the US stipulated Mexico would build the wall.

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“What would be the point of us paying for something beautiful, if we cannot even see it? That would be like marrying a model who won’t even sleep in the same city as you,” he says in the video.

Fox then turned to a framed photo of a young Donald Trump.

“Donald, instead of building a wall, build a bridge across the oceans of time, and walk back across it to find this small boy and tell him, and tell him, that just because his father doesn’t love him, doesn’t mean he cannot love the world.”

Mr Fox was president from December 2000 until November 2006, the first leader of Mexico’s National Action Party to be elected into the position.

While the party is associated with a more conservative political stance, the party does not consider itself fundamentally conservative, developing contextually responsive, rather than ideologically-driven policy.

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