DEBUT: Harry Hoopert takes down a Lions opponent during his debut for Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
DEBUT: Harry Hoopert takes down a Lions opponent during his debut for Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday. SPORTOGRAPHY

Qld Reds debut a win to savour

FOLLOWING his Super Rugby debut last weekend, Dalby's Harry Hoopert is relishing the opportunity to play his best football.

Earning his first cap for the Queensland Reds in their victory over the Lions from South Africa last Saturday, Hoopert is back with the Australian under-20s ahead of tomorrow's fixture against New Zealand.

The former Wheatman junior said it was a huge accomplishment to make his debut and a special moment for his family.

"They were stoked for me, it was very emotional for the old girl and my dad was very happy,” Hoopert said.

"It was a big honour for me and my family.”

Hoopert has his sights set on further call-ups to the Reds side but is also focusing on helping the Australian U20s achieve success at this year's world championships in France.

Hoopert said he would be a better player after his experience at a higher level.

"The step up to Super Rugby is a lot bigger - the speed and physicality are the main differences,” he said.

It has been a tough few years for Hoopert, who had to overcome several obstacles to achieve his debut.

"You couldn't ask for a better day,” he said.

"The hardest part about where I am right now was obviously the injuries. The last two years I've been out for six or 12 months in that time.

"It's not very good on the mental side of things.

"To be here now - words can't describe it.

"It's a huge honour.”

Hoopert hopes his elevation to the Queensland Reds squad can provide inspiration for further Darling Downs talent to follow their dreams.

Hoopert shared the experience with former Toowoomba Grammar School teammate Hamish Stewart, who celebrated his first run-on appearance for the Reds in Saturday's victory.


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