Horwill to captain Harlequins
NEWS: Harlequins on Monday announced that James Horwill has been appointed as Harlequins captain from the 2017/18 season.
Commenting on the announcement Horwill said: "I'm very humbled and honoured to be asked to captain such a great club, it's certainly something that I won’t be taking lightly.
"The hard work for us as a squad starts now and we want to make Harlequins as successful as it can be.
"The exciting thing is, we haven't reached our potential. We have played well in parts, but we have more to give, both in an individual capacity, and as a group.
"I'm lucky that I have three former club captains in this squad and a number of guys who have developed through our Academy system and have Harlequins engrained in them; it's so important to have that and the additional support will be invaluable."
Joining Harlequins in 2015 from the Queensland Reds, a side he played for over 100 times and captained to the 2011 Super Rugby title, he has made 40 appearances for Harlequins, scoring five tries.
The 32 year-old has 62 Test caps for Australia and captained his country on 16 occasions, including during the 2013 British and Irish Lions Tour. He has shown his leadership qualities throughout his time at Harlequins and has regularly taken the captaincy role in the absence of Danny Care through injury or international commitments.
Horwill succeeds Care who was appointed as club captain in 2015. During his time, Care captained the side to the 2015 European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, and led the side in securing Champions Cup rugby for this first time in three years.
"Since Conor [O'Shea] appointed me, it has been a huge honour to captain the club," Care commented. "I have loved my two years as captain, but I feel that it is the right time for a freshen up, and for someone else to take over.
"It's a hard job in itself, but it is made harder when you're away with international commitments for so long, which is why I felt someone who is around all the time should do the job.
"I, alongside the rest of the squad, will fully support James in his new role. He is a fantastic leader and the right man to take the club forward.
"I owe a huge thanks to the players, staff and fans who have supported me throughout the two years. I'm really excited for the new season to get underway and see the progress we make."
Confirming the appointment, Harlequins Director of Rugby, John Kingston, added: "I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Danny for his huge effort and energy whilst being captain of Harlequins.
"It was a fitting finale that, although he wasn't able to play in the match, we secured Champions Cup Rugby in the last match of the season under his leadership.
"I am so very pleased that James has taken up the offer to succeed Danny as the next captain of Harlequins. He has shown unconditional commitment to the cause since he arrived at the club and has fantastic leadership experience, both with Australia and the Queensland Reds.
"I am immensely looking forward to working with him as we seek to build on our Champions Cup qualification from last season."