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, 25 February 2017
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Cheetahs v Lions 25 | 28
Waratahs v Force 19 | 13
Crusaders v Brumbies 17 | 13
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 17 | 83
Fri, 24 February 2017
Munster v Scarlets 21 | 30
Dragons v Leinster 22 | 54
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 17 | 18
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 18 | 27
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Reds 1 1 0 0 4
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 0 0 1 1
Force 1 0 0 1 1
Rebels 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 1 1 0 0 5
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Chiefs 1 1 0 0 5
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 4
Highlanders 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 0 0 0 0 0
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Cheetahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 0 0 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0 0 0