Horwill to keep Reds reins

Tue, 03 Dec 2013 07:08
Large jameshorwillredstraining

Despite being axed as Wallabies skipper, James Horwill will not reliquish captaincy of the Reds according to coach Richard Graham.
 

Despite being axed as Wallabies skipper, James Horwill will not reliquish captaincy of the Reds according to coach Richard Graham.

The experienced lock was replaced as Wallabies captain by the Brumbies' Ben Mowen ahead of Australia's year-end tour, and it proved to be a good call from national coach Ewen McKenzie as his team won their last four matches in Europe with Horwill finding some good form.

However, Graham, who has replaced McKenzie as Reds coach, believes that Horwill is still the man to lead the way when Super Rugby gets underway next year.

He said that Horwill's improved form in Europe was not down to having the burden of the captaincy lifted off him and made it clear that the big lock will be the man in charge next year.

"Horwill has captained the team very well. There is no reason in my mind to change the captaincy. I don't think necessarily taking the captaincy off him was the catalyst.

"James and Ewen would have discussed it and given great thought about it but it was fantastic to see him play well," he told AAP.

Another decision that paid off for McKenzie was making flyhalf Quade Cooper Wallabies vice captain, as he responded well to the responsibility and also found some good form in Europe.

Graham said that whilst Cooper will continue to play a leadership role with the Reds, he was not tempted to give him the captain's armband.

"Quade has been outstanding on this tour. He is confident and when he is you see the full array of skills that he has got - I think that makes us a better team.

"Quade has been a leader here for the last three or four years by the nature of his position," he said.

The Reds will return to their 'spiritual home' of Ballymore Stadium in February  to face Australian rivals Melbourne Rebels in a Super Rugby trial match.

Graham said the fixture would provide key match experience for his team only a week out from the Super Rugby regular season.  

"The match against the Rebels will be another key component of our preparation," Graham said.

"It will follow on from what should be a high-quality game against the Chiefs, in Toowoomba, and will be our last hit out before the Super Rugby season kicks off.

"It's exciting to be able to see elite rugby at Ballymore, the spiritual home of our game in Queensland," he added.

The trial against the Chiefs in Toowoomba the week prior, on February 8, kicks off at 6.30pm and includes a curtain raiser at 4.30pm, featuring the Darling Downs representative team.

The Reds' regular season starts February 22, with clashes on the road to the Brumbies and the Waratahs, before their first match at Suncorp Stadium against the Cheetahs on Friday March 7.
 

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28