Dempsey played in the Waratahs back row alongside Hooper before making the move to Scotland in the summer. While reluctant to heap too much praise on his Glasgow team-mate, the Aussie No 8 was highly impressed by the openside who turned in a man-of-the-match performance as the Warriors were edged out 35-29 by Ulster in Belfast on Friday.
“I thought he was outstanding,” said Dempsey. “He had two nice pilfers, from memory, and was unlucky not to get a couple more.
“His fitness is world class. I kind of noticed that in pre-season with some of the scores he gets and metres he runs at training.
“For a guy like me, before I came up here, I played pretty much almost every game next to Michael Hooper and that’s the first thing that stands out – in terms of when you’ve got a seven like that who can just run all day – for 85 or 90 minutes if need be.”
Darge joined Glasgow from Edinburgh at the tail-end of last season but has already made a huge impression, winning a Scotland call-up in the summer.
“For me as a ball-running back-rower, to play next to a guy like that who you know is going to just keep rocking up with the same energy for every minute of that game is huge,” added Dempsey.
“I love a back-rower who has got some footwork, some evasive skills and an offload – I’m looking forward to building more chemistry with him.”