Miller helps Waratahs win without Hooper

Melissa Woods

A check of Wikipedia reveals that Will Miller plays for the Melbourne Rebels - they probably wish he still did after the Waratahs flanker helped bring about their Super Rugby downfall at AAMI Park.

Filling the sizable shoes of injured Australian and Waratahs captain Michael Hooper, Miller was everywhere as his team scored two late tries to snatch a 31-26 victory.

The Rebels won a penalty with just seconds left on the clock but Miller managed a turnover to seal the win for NSW.

And he also scored a first-half try to cap a stunning first start in the Waratahs No.7 jersey after playing at blindside flanker for seven games this season.

Apart from his value in the role, Hooper hasn't given anyone a sniff of the position missing only 53 minutes of play in his 93 games since joining NSW in 2013.

While he obviously preferred a fit Hooper, who is out for a month with a hamstring injury, Miller said he enjoyed getting back to what he knows best.

"It's a lot easier for me to play seven than six as it's a game I understand a lot more and the lines are easier so hopefully I can keep playing well," Miller said.

"And when Hoops comes back then hopefully I can move back to six."

The 25-year-old worked full-time on his family's dairy farm south of Sydney and played club rugby, captaining Norths to a premiership.

But he answered a mid-season Rebels SOS after a raft of injuries last year and ended up playing five Super Rugby games.

Signed by the Waratahs this season, he's given up the early milking starts and focused on rugby, piling on five kilograms.

Miller said he had learnt plenty training and playing alongside Hooper.

"I've learnt plenty in the way he plays and the way he leads the team around," he said.

"I try to watch him a lot and talk to him to try and pick up things that I can adapt to my game."