No Moore: Wallabies captain announces retirement
RUGBY UNION: Wallabies captain Stephen Moore has announced he will retire from international rugby at the end of 2017, before playing one final season with the Reds in 2018.
The veteran of 120 Test caps is the 10th most-capped international player of all-time and second only to George Gregan (139) as the most-capped Australian.
Moore will feature for the Wallabies in the 2017 Rugby Championship before calling a day on his illustrious international career following the European spring tour in November.
Waratahs skipper Michael Hooper is set to inherit the Wallabies captaincy on a full-time basis immediately.
"I've been very lucky to have played as long as I have, and I'm incredibly grateful to the Wallabies and Australian Rugby for all its done for me," Moore said.
"I also really want to thank all my teammates, coaches and staff I've had over my career.
"There's still plenty of footy to go this year but I know the Wallabies will be left in very strong hands if we continue to work hard and stay grounded.
"As of the next Test I will be handing over the captaincy, and will spend the next four months supporting the new leadership team in any way possible.
"We have a great bunch of developing leaders like Michael, Adam (Coleman), Bernard (Foley), Samu (Kerevi), Allan (Alaalatoa).
"Succession is a really important part of the leadership of any team and we've been working to that end for a number of years and having those discussions for some time.
"I look around the group now and I see plenty of faces that weren't even in high school when I made my Wallabies debut, and that is exciting for Australian rugby," Moore said.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika paid tribute to Moore.
"Stephen still has a big role to play within the team," he said.
"This isn't a farewell right now - he's fully committed to getting the gold jersey back to the top this year.
"His contribution to this current team cannot be understated.
"What he's achieved on the field is no mean feat but it's his work off the field in his role as captain of Australia that has really impressed me.
"We now have to make sure we send him off in the best way possible this year.
Moore made his Test debut 12 years ago against Samoa in 2005 before going on to represent Australia at three Rugby World Cups.
The 34-year old was first named Wallabies captain in 2014, becoming the 81st man to lead Australia.
Moore is also the second-most capped Super Rugby player of all time.