Horan aiming to give value for money
May 23, 2000
Tim Horan has sacrificed his dream of 100 Test caps and an appearance against the British Lions to forge his new career with ambitious Saracens.
Horan, the Wallaby centre whose inspirational performances guided Australia to World Cup success last year, is determined to leave a positive impression on English rugby.
He strongly refutes suggestions he is following the path of other leading world stars by chasing a `pension pay off' with the Vicarage Road side.
"I've made the decision that it is better to retire a year early than a year late. It was a very difficult choice but I know I've decided on the right path," said Horan.
"Too many players hang on just that bit too long. I don't want to carry on for another year just to play against the Lions or achieve a century of Tests.
"I got to sit on the bench for all three Tests in the 1993 Lions Tour. I didn't get on the field but I've still got the jersey on my wall.
"I've achieved quite a bit during my international career and I don't have any regrets about not playing the Lions.
"I could have finished after winning my second World Cup but I wanted to play another year in Australia. I felt I owed another season to Queensland and I still felt I had something positive to offer the Wallabies.
"Too many players come to England to claim their pension cheque. I'm still playing reasonable rugby and I want to give value for money.
"There will be pressure on me to perform and that is exactly what I want."
Horan touched down in London to the news that Saracens had grabbed a lucrative European Cup place, thanks to a 37-10 victory over Bristol in the final league game of the season.
He expects to make his 86th and final appearance for the Wallabies against South Africa in August before flying to Hertfordshire for the first season of a two-year contract.
"As soon as I touched down the first thing I asked was the result. It's a major boast to the club to be involved in European Cup rugby the standard is increasing up there with Super 12's," added Horan.
Horan denied he delayed the decision to join Saracens until their European destiny was decided.
But the Australian centre will join French stand-off Thomas Castaignede in one of the most powerful backs divisions in European rugby.
"Tim has scored some of rugby's greatest ever tries. To have him with us at Saracens is an enormously exciting prospect," said coach Francois Pienaar.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton