Fri 1 Nov 2013 | 10:21

Horwill won't hold Mowen's hand

Horwill won't hold Mowen's hand
Fri 1 Nov 2013 | 10:21

Horwill won't hold Mowen's hand


It may only be his second Test as captain of the Wallabies, but Ben Mowen is not a toddler that needs his hand held.

Mowen replaced Horwill as captain for the Test against England on Saturday, with the lock asked by coach Ewen McKenzie to focus solely on his own individual playing performance.

The new skipper said there is no need to have a heart-to-heart discussion with Horwill about the dramatic change in leadership.

Any team leadership overhaul has the potential to cause friction, but Mowen said his friendship with Horwill would ensure that is not the case.

"We haven't really felt the need to sit down and hold hands and talk about it, we've just both gotten on with our jobs," Mowen said.

"Me and Kev [Horwill] have been mates for a very long time and we've got a pretty good balance when we work together.

"All that happens is that balance continues, so we certainly haven't felt the need to be too worried about it.

"It's business as usual."

But Mowen does expect Horwill to come out firing and lead by example.

"He's going to have a massive role for us come Saturday in terms of leadership," Mowen said.

"Whether you've got a 'C' next to your name or not, he is a leader and I know he'll be looking to put a huge performance in."

Mowen could not have imagined at the start of the year, when was yet to play a Test at age 28, that he would be skippering the Wallabies at Twickenham.

"I would have taken carrying the drinks on the spring tour," Mowen grinned.

"Just to be here is very special.

"It is a great privilege, certainly one that's not lost on me, I've waited a long time to play England in England.

"Personally just to be part of that, the rest of the team are excited by that, and then to receive that honour is very special.

"I'll be doing my best to contribute to a result come Saturday."

The Wallabies must triumph in the battle of the forwards if they are to defeat their old foes, who have named combative giants Billy Vunipola and Courtney Lawes in their starting side.

"England are England, you know what's coming," Mowen said.

"It's going to be a big battle up front, and in the last couple of years they've certainly played with more width and a willingness to attack, certainly inside our defensive half.

"It's a huge challenge, you don't know over the sides they've been knocking over without good structures in place."

Source: The Courier-Mail

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