SYDNEY - Newly elevated captain Michael Hooper is vowing to finish the job Dave Dennis started and lead the NSW Waratahs to an historic Super Rugby title.
Hooper admits he was shattered to see Dennis suffer a season-ending knee injury last week with the Waratahs closing in a first ever championship and is promising to lead the side in the same stylish manner in his absence.
"That was a real tough one, seeing Denno go down in that game and then later on to see him afterwards," Hooper said ahead of the Waratahs' high-stakes showdown with the fourth-placed Highlanders on Sunday.
"So he's in the back of our mind and we want to carry forward the job that he's set up so nicely this season."
Hooper says he'll carry the same attacking mindset into the finals.
The classy flanker won't be afraid to go for the jugular.
"It's obviously an on-field thing that you have to weigh up," Hooper said.
"Points on the scoreboard is really important, building pressure, making teams starting to think it's going to take a lot of points to get back maybe even a try to get back.
"That's what you want you want your opposition thinking, so taking shots at goal is really important, however scoring a try can put a team to bed.
"We got a bit of pay out of that on the weekend and we'll be hoping if those opportunities come up, our tails are up and we can take those."
Hooper also claimed the Wallabies captaincy through a knee injury, with hooker Stephen Moore breaking down in his first Test as skipper.