Wallabies captain Moore to miss rest of season

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Australia hooker Stephen Moore will be sidelined for the rest of the season after rupturing the anterior cruciate and medial ligaments in his left knee during his first test as Wallabies rugby captain on Saturday.

Moore needs a total knee reconstruction after suffering the injury while making a tackle in the 15th minute of Saturday's first test against France at Suncorp Stadium. Australia went on to win 50-23 as Moore, in his 92nd test, watched from the sideline.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said Moore's injury "leaves a bit of a void because we had put a lot of things in the pipeline."

Lock Sam Carter, who suffered an ankle injury in the seventh minute of his debut test, will also miss the rest of the series. Carter played the full 80 minutes of the match, despite suffering a high ankle strain in the opening minutes.

"That really gives you an idea how tough the bloke is," McKenzie said. "He showed great resilience and (the injury) didn't show up at all (in his play)."

Flanker Michael Hooper, who replaced Moore as captain for the last 75 mintues of Saturday's match, is likely to retain the role in next weekend's second test at Melbourne.

Hooper, at 22, became the youngest Wallabies captain in 67 years. If continues as captain for the remainder of the France series — tests in Melbourne and Sydney over the next two weekends — he may be accepting something of a poisoned chalice.

Since McKenzie took over as coach, Rocky Elsom, James Horwill (three times), David Pocock, Will Genia (twice) and Ben Mowen have all had turns as Australia skipper, and in each case their captaincy was short-lived due to injury or loss of form.

McKenzie stopped short of confirming Hooper as captain on Sunday but praised his leadership against France.

"He has a style about (his leadership) that I respect," McKenzie said. "It didn't affect his playing, he played exceptionally well and that's part of it too.

"I can't think of many players who play as consistently well as he does. I don't think I've seen him have an off day. He fronts up and is in every game.

"He's a lead-by-example sort of guy and highly respected in the playing group - they're all good attributes."