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'Abused my body': Brutal reality putting Olympics at risk

Michael Hooper admits he "abused" his body during a glittering 125 Test career and that physical toll is now threatening to cruel his Olympic Games dream.

The Wallabies warrior spoke to reporters at Stan's Paris 2024 coverage launch at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday after injury ruled him out of this weekend's Madrid Sevens tournament.

Hooper is dealing with osteitis pubis in his pelvis region and has been ordered to take it easy to give himself the best shot of being in the selection frame for Paris.

Watch the World Rugby Sevens on the home of rugby, Stan Sport. Every round exclusive, ad free, live and on demand

The 32-year-old said he "was having a lot of trouble sleeping" while dealing with the issue but returned to running on Sunday and there had been no setbacks since.

Missing out on selection would be a double blow for Hooper after Eddie Jones cited his calf injury as the major reason for sensationally axing him from last year's ill fated Rugby World Cup squad.

But Hooper is philosophical about the situation and says Paris would be the "cherry on top" of a fabulous career.

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"That's not bad luck, it's reality," Hooper said when asked about his latest injury setback, which followed Achilles issues earlier this year.

"I'm trying to transition and this is a different game. Like there are demands on your ability to reproduce high speed – it takes a certain toll on my body. And I abused my body in XVs, you know, trying to come back from injury quick, not miss games, to a certain extent.

"Your body has to go through these growing pains and then perform. It is a challenge and guys can do it (switch to sevens) and I've tried to do it and it's been hard. So it is what it is. It's not bad luck."

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Hooper said he had experienced "significant" pain in his pelvis although that had subsided recently.

But with the men's sevens tournament kicking off on July 24 at the Stade de France, the clock is ticking fast.

"Truth be told, I need to lift the intensity," Hooper said.

https://twitter.com/StanSportAU/status/1795656901478527308?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

"I'm not knocking it out of the park when it comes to how it's going on the field. The team's pretty settled, the team's going well… I've just got to get on the field and we're running out of time for that."

John Manenti's squad will play preparation games against Fiji in June before the squad for Paris is announced.

Hooper's experience and leadership would be major assets but he is still learning to park longstanding habits in the new format.

Michael Hooper scores his first sevens try against Canada.

"My intuition is to chase the ball, be around the ball, in the contact (in XVs). In attack you're coming off the nine's hip or off the 10 or you're creating the extra man. In this game, I do that, I kill the team.

"So if I chase too hard into a ruck (in sevens) and I'm the third man around the ruck – it leaves four of us to 'D' (defend) a whole pitch and that's going to impact the team…

"At times, yeah, I've got a turnover or whatever and that's been beneficial. But you do that against the wrong team or you do that at the wrong time – I'm going to hurt the team… the runway's been short and it's a hard game like that… it's a really, really hard game."

Hooper's classy response to Eddie barb

Hooper will be on the Allianz Stadium sidelines for Stan at Friday's Super Rugby Pacific clash between the Waratahs and Reds.

He had enjoyed his foray into media more than he anticipated and it was refreshing no longer having to "death ride" rival teams.

Hooper added he was "at peace" if he missed out on selection.

Stan's Olympics launch at Sydney Opera House.

He instead will be a member of Stan's Olympics coverage if that occurs.

"I never thought I'd go to the Olympics. It was never a goal in my in my mind… it's a cherry on top and if I get there and it happens, so be it, great.

"I'm doing everything I can but if it doesn't, I'm proud of myself and I gave a tough game a crack."

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