Horwill looks to front up against Boks
July 20, 2011
Horwill will make his 25th apperance for the Wallabies against South Africa on Saturday © Getty Images
Wallabies lock James Horwill is relishing Saturday's Tri-Nations opener against South Africa with the eagerly-awaited clash set to be his first international appearance since November 2009.
Horwill missed the entirety of the previous international season through injury and the Reds captain sat out Australia's 32-23 defeat to Samoa in a bid to regain his breath after a scintillating season with the Super Rugby champions. The 26-year-old, who is rejoined in the line-up by fellow Reds - Quade Cooper and Will Genia, is confident his side can bounce back from last weekend's embarrassing reverse and start their Tri-Nations campaign on the right foot.
"It's been about 20 months since my last test and I'm really excited to get back in the gold jersey," Horwill said. "With the (Reds) guys coming back, we're looking forward to getting out there and hopefully have a positive impact.
"Obviously the Samoa loss wasn't a great performance, that was pretty clear. So we've got things we need to work on. There's not big changes we need to make just little things we need to do better to get the result we want. We've got to start this weekend and hopefully everyone will forget about last week."
Horwill will start in the second-row alongside Rob Simmons, forming an all-Reds partnership, and following a poor performance at the breakdown against Samoa, Horwill recognises that his side will have to perform significantly better if they are to prevail on Saturday. "We just need to do our jobs. Make sure the set piece ball is secure, get the team on the front foot and get the backs as clean ball as possible."
Heavy rain is currently lashing across Sydney which may affect Australia's ability to unleash the creative duo of Genia and Cooper. If the rain does continue, then the game may dissolve into a dog-fight between both sets of forwards. Horwill recognises that the Wallabies need to be able to adapt to any conditions, especially with the World Cup occurring during New Zealand's autumn, but hopes his side will be able to play some attractive rugby come Saturday.
"Test match footy is a bit different to Super Rugby but we want to play an attacking brand of rugby," Horwill said. "That's the way we, the Wallabies, go out to play. The weather will be what it will be, we're quite happy to play in the wet if that's the way it is."
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