Michael Hooper aims to make Super Rugby return for Waratahs in April

Michael Hooper returned to training with Waratahs last week
Michael Hooper returned to training with Waratahs last week

Australia skipper Michael Hooper is set to play his first Super Rugby Pacific game in April when Waratahs face Fijian Drua on April 1.

Hooper had a sabbatical with Waratahs to feature for Japanese club Toyota Verblitz last year before a foot injury sustained during the November series game against England.

The 30-year-old has returned to training but is unlikely to be available for their next clash against Queensland Reds. He is currently working on completing the return to play protocols to rejoin the squad.

"I'm fully functional at the moment, so it's now just a return to play [situation]," Hooper said.

"I've been able to have a really good preparation to get the foot right, which has taken some time; it was a significant injury in the end, I just avoided surgery.

"So that return-to-play protocol pretty much looks like I am able to do everything solo, or with one or two people, just integrating back into the team dynamics now...so if that's [playing] next week, the week after, I'm not sure, but it's a lot dependent on how this week goes and from there making the call."

Waratahs are positioned third in the Super Rugby Pacific table with three wins from five matches.