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Thread: World Cup snub fanned the Horwill flame

  1. #1
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    World Cup snub fanned the Horwill flame

    WWOS Staff
    10:00 AEST Tue Sep 6 2011





    Wallabies captain James Horwill experienced the ultimate high and low in 2007 after he lined up for his Test debut against Fiji in Perth, only to be rejected a few weeks later from Australia's World Cup squad to travel to France.

    In part two of an exclusive interview with the Wide World of Sports website, the towering lock explains how that disappointment, teamed with trying to make his mark from a struggling Queensland Reds franchise, inspired him to bigger and better things.

    "You always set a marker and I wanted to make that 30-man squad," Horwill said. "I was in the initial 30-man squad at the start of that year, and they cut it down."

    "I always had hoped that maybe I would be the fourth lock taken, but they went in another direction."

    Horwill had been given a chance by 2007 Wallabies coach John Connolly, and he enjoyed a commendable debut, but the return of Dan Vickerman from injury saw the then rookie squeezed out of the squad that would travel to France.

    "It made me work pretty hard, and gave me a chance to have a full pre-season," Horwill said.

    "I did a lot of training that year [while the World Cup was on] and wanted to make sure I hit the ground running in 2008."

    Horwill pushed his way back into the Test side in 2008, despite playing within a Reds team that struggled at the bottom of the Super Rugby ladder, and while others jumped ship from the struggling franchise there was no way he was going anywhere.

    "I was never wanting to leave Queensland. I always thought of it as I started something here, and I want to finish it. I want to make sure it finishes on the right note.

    "The Western Force had come into the competition, and they obviously took a number of our senior players across to Perth, so we were a relatively new side with a lot of guys coming in who hadn't been there before," Horwill recalled.

    One senior Reds player to split ranks and head to Western Force was Nathan Sharpe, which effectively opened up an opportunity for Horwill – one which he readily acknowledges.

    "Sharpie is a guy I have always looked up to – he played at the same club as I did and in the same position … his decision to leave [the Reds] probably gave me my opportunity to get signed up – I don't know if they would have signed me as early as they did, if that opportunity hadn't opened up."

    It's an opportunity that Horwill has well and truly made the most of now, having seen the Reds through their worse times and now enjoying unprecedented success.

    "I'm not the kind of person that gets into something and then leaves when it's getting too tough. I'm very, very passionate about playing for Queensland, it's something that means a hell of a lot to me.

    "I've been able to experience the low times and the high times, and you have to understand the effort and commitment it takes to get to where we are now."

    Australia can be comfortable in the fact that their captain has had his fair share of hard knocks, and will not be taking anything for granted as he leads the Wallabies in New Zealand.

    Make sure you return tomorrow for part three of our exclusive interview with James Horwill, where the skipper talks about his feiry beginning as a hot head before sharing his final thoughts on the challenge that awaits in New Zealand.

    http://wwos.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8294773

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    Australia can be comfortable in the fact that their captain has had his fair share of hard knocks, and will not be taking anything for granted as he leads the Wallabies in New Zealand.
    Sums it up perfectly!!!

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    So another Wallaby that can be attributed to the existence?

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    Another Queenslander who can't let it go.
    Fortunately for Kev the ONLY senior Red was Sharpie, by his own admission it expedited his own signing.
    The rest were at the stage bench or less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry View Post
    So another Wallaby that can be attributed to the existence?
    Wallaby Captain at that!!

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    thats like how we always claim Kiwi's as being australian... nice!

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