Horwill eager to regain captaincy

Tue, 12 Nov 2013 19:06
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I'm not going to hide the fact I was disappointed

James Horwill has voiced his disappointment over being axed as Wallaby skipper and says he would love to regain the captaincy from Ben Mowen.

Horwill captained Australia in their 1-2 series loss to the British and Irish Lions in June but was demoted ahead of the November Tests by new coach Ewen McKenzie.

McKenzie cited a string of indifferent performances by the Reds lock as the reason for his decision and felt being released of the captaincy would help Horwill regain his form.

Talking about the captaincy issue for the first time, Horwill told AAP: "I'm not going to hide the fact I was disappointed. I love what I do and I love being captain of my country. [But] captaining is always about the team and that's the way you have to look at it."

The 28-year-old, who led the Wallabies in the 2011 World Cup after having guided the Australians to their third Tri-Nations title and the Reds to their first ever Super Rugby crown, said he understood McKenzie's decision.

"I knew myself I wasn't happy with the way I'd been playing but I guess you can look at it in that sense [being axed] has given me the opportunity to worry about myself a little bit more.”

During the dreadful start to McKenzie’s tenure, in which the Wallabies won just two of their first seven Tests, the 45-Test veteran conceded he focused more on the team’s problems than his own game.

"I think maybe my focus did go away from myself individually and I was more focused on 'what can I do to get the team going,'” he said.

"I hate losing. Maybe that was the thing. I might reflect that there were things I could have done differently.

"It's allowed me to be selfish in my preparations and worry about the way I need to prepare physically and mentally to get right to play."

Horwill added that he dreams of captaining the Wallabies again but insisted the team would always come first.

"I'd love to captain the country again. I take great pride and put a lot of effort into doing it,” he said.

"It's not something I take lightly. It's a huge responsibility and something I did enjoy doing.

"That's not the priority. My priority is to get my form back and win for the team."