Super Rugby
James Horwill to extend Reds deal
ESPN Staff
April 11, 2013
James Horwill speaks to the media, Super Rugby naming rights announcement, Sydney, Australia, November 16, 2011
James Horwill returned to the field only recently after a lengthy injury absence © Getty Images

Queensland Reds captain James Horwill is poised to sign a two-year contract extension with the 2011 Super Rugby champions, New Limited Rugby Gold has reported.

Horwill, 27, has played 79 matches for the Reds since making his debut against New South Wales Waratahs in 2006, including just two this season after returning to action in Super Rugby round six after a near-12 month absence due to hamstring and ankle injuries.

"I've obviously got a huge passion for Queensland rugby, I'd find it very hard to play anywhere else," Horwill said in an interview with Rugby Gold. "You always want to continue to play where you enjoy it, and that's right here."

Horwill, born and bred in Brisbane, has played 35 Tests for Australia, and he is almost certain to play for the Wallabies against the British & Irish Lions if fully fit after his injury absence.

He is likely to be joined in signing his contract extension by Wallabies forwards Rob Simmons, James Slipper and James Hanson.Simmons, Howrill's partner in the second row, and 34-Test tight-head prop Slipper have also knocked back interstate and overseas interest to stay at Ballymore, but they are yet to have new contracts finalised with the ARU. Hanson, who made his Test debut last year, has agreed to terms after rejecting approaches from Western Force and New South Wales.

Reds half-back Will Genia said the retention of the quartet was crucial to future success.

"They're key guys who have been very important to building the culture that we're very proud of here," he told AAP. "To have them stay speaks a lot about what this group means to Queensland rugby and means to each other. It gives the rest of us a hell of a lot of confidence in what we're doing is right."

© ESPN Australia / New Zealand with AAP

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