The Sydneysiders have had a poor Super Rugby campaign – winning just four of their 14 matches – and Hooper feels the side’s eight-man leadership group, which the players chose, must be reviewed.
“Good teams are made up of good leaders, a good leadership group and that didn’t follow this year as well as we would have hoped, so guys (can) put up their hand,” he told AAP.
“I’ve been impressed with guys like Ned (Hanigan). At the start of the year, largely not many people had heard of (him).
“Playing a really good game and, on top of that, actually having the presence around the place and around the field, so guys like that.”
Despite the Waratahs’ poor form in 2017, Hooper believes the side has the talent to bounce back and be successful in 2018.
“The difference between the top teams and the bottom teams is psychological,” he added.
“A lot of the time, we’re playing the same rugby; we’re trying to do the same things on the field.
“It’s just the team that is more committed to doing them better. It’s the team that wants to do it for longer, that’s able to get the best results.
“I’ve got no doubt we’ve got the talent next year. It’s about the guys having confidence in themselves to play the shape that we want to play.”
Hooper gave his support to Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson, after reports in the Australian media hinted at player discontent with the side’s coaching staff.
“I genuinely believe that Daryl is a fantastic coach – a person who is a motivator for us,” he said.