James Horwill returns to Queensland Reds
January 7, 2014
James Horwill finished a disappointing year on a high © Getty Images
James Horwill is injury-free and primed for a big Super Rugby campaign with Queensland Reds.
Horwill, 28, lost the Wallabies captaincy on their end-of-year tour to Europe but he regained a measure of his best form to finish an otherwise underwhelming 2013 on a high as Australia capped their campaign with four consecutive wins. And he says he's ready to carry that form over to the Super Rugby stage for the Reds, in stark contrast to 2013 - when he didn't play until March after a near year-long lay-off due to a torn hamstring.
"It's always nice to hit the ground running and do things in pre-season that I wasn't able to do," Horwill said on Tuesday as he returned from an end-of-season break after the Wallabies' tour of Europe.
"I obviously hadn't played for 10 or 11 months at this stage last year, so you just lose that timing and so forth. It's been good to have a break where I didn't have any injury cloud over my head. I'm really keen to get stuck into it now."
Horwill, who underwent a treatment session with the Queensland physio on Tuesday, rather than training with his team-mates on a muggy Brisbane morning, was one of several Reds players with the Wallabies in Europe, including Will Genia and Quade Cooper. He believes the way Australia ended their year can transfer into the Reds camp as they prepare for their first campaign under new head coach Richard Graham.
"Guys can take confidence in the form. We had a number of guys that were on that tour that were playing some great rugby at the end of that tour," he said. "That's the positive we can take. The guys that are coming back were playing good rugby a month ago, and I know speaking to all of them we've had some good time off ... that sort of confidence in the way we're playing is good."