FLYING HIGH: Michael Hooper has had a busy schedule with the Wallabies.
FLYING HIGH: Michael Hooper has had a busy schedule with the Wallabies. LUKAS COCH

Frequent-flyer Hooper is in it for the long haul now

MICHAEL Hooper will spend just three nights in his own bed until late November amid an unprecedented Wallabies travel schedule that will see them fly 70,000km in 66 days.

Australia will stay in 14 cities in eight countries during the arduous haul, having left Sydney for Johannesburg on September 22.

The Wallabies are in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, will fly to Mendoza for Saturday's match against the Pumas, then return to Sydney next week for their only downtime before the four-Test spring tour of Japan and the United Kingdom that ends November 26.

However, Wallabies captain Hooper will be spending three of the six nights next week in Fiji for brother Richard's wedding, seeing him catch 18 different flights in this period.

"I've got to go to my brother's wedding but for the majority of the squad, they will rock in on the Monday and then off to the Gold Coast on Sunday, so six nights," Hooper told News Corp Australia.

"And then from there it will go to the end of November.

"My brother's wedding is in Fiji in the midst of that week off so I managed, with all this travel, to get that one in.

"We're here, there and everywhere, but it just happened to work out that I'm free that week, so it's fantastic.

"I've got some explaining to do to my loved ones.

"It's been like that for a while now, guys get good at it, they get used to it.

"It's part of rugby."

The players would normally have had a second week off before the spring tour but this year have wedged in the Wallabies vs. Barbarians match on October 28, so will be camped in a hotel in Sydney together.

Having won just three of eight Test matches this year, the Wallabies must defy the jet lag to have any chance of posting a winning record in 2017.

"Our staff are doing a really good job, they've got a grip on the travel and workload," Hooper said.

"We don't want to put that thought in a lot of players' heads because we've got these two really big games to look at closely to finish off the Rugby Championship [against Argentina] and the last Bledisloe [against New Zealand in Brisbane on October 21].

"Then we'll start looking at travel and workload for the tour.

"The staff and Cheik (coach Michael Cheika) will have a plan around how they want to get guys moving and playing or not playing down the track.

"Consistency is what we've been missing all year, to restore the confidence we have in ourselves and how good we can be and how well we can play, and that will come through the wins in the end.

"Since June this year we've put on a good amount of points each game, we've just given up too much.

"Our attack is there, it's about tightening little things that have a big effect on the game, and then we'll start to see the back end of games go in our favour."

FREQUENT FLYER WALLABIES

September 22: Sydney to Johannesburg (11,053km)

September 28: Johannesburg to Bloemfontein (371km)

October 1: Bloemfontein to Johannesburg to Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires (8097km)

October 5: Buenos Aires to Mendoza (987km)

October 8: Mendoza to Buenos Aires to Sydney (11,506km)

October 15: Sydney to Gold Coast (684km)

October 19: Gold Coast to Brisbane (71km)

October 22: Brisbane to Sydney (733km)

October 31: Sydney to Tokyo (7835km)

November 5: Tokyo to London to Cardiff (9780km)

November 13: Cardiff to London (211km)

November 20: London to Edinburgh (534km)

November 27: Edinburgh to London to Sydney (17,547km)

News Corp Australia

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