Horwill to captain Reds against the Force


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Reds Head Coach Phil Mooney has named lock James Horwill as captain for Friday night’s Investec Super 14 match against the Western Force at Suncorp Stadium (kickoff 7:30pm).

With regular captain Sam Cordingley sidelined by a calf injury and stand-in skipper Chris Latham (knee) also a bystander for this match, Mooney opted to go for a generational change in naming Horwill, 23 next month, to lead the side.

‘Kevvy (Horwill) has really matured this year and has become one of our most consistent players,’ Mooney said.

‘He’s always been an aggressive character on the field but under Forwards coach Mark Bell he’s learned to harness that aggression and become a more disciplined player. It’s time for him now to take the next step in his development as a senior rugby player and this appointment is recognition of that.’

Horwill has played one Test match and 38 matches for the QR Reds. He has not missed a Super 14 game since making his debut off the bench against the Waratahs in the opening round of 2006.

His Wallaby debut was against Fiji in Perth last year, although he also played in three midweek games for the Wallabies in their 2006 Spring tour of Europe.

Despite media speculation that he was in the running, Horwill said he was still bowled over when Mooney told him he would be leading out the side on Friday night.

‘I was flattered and honoured to even have my name thrown up as a candidate, but to be given the job was fantastic,’ Horwill said.

‘It’s an honour for me to play for Queensland and to be selected as captain is a tremendous thrill and very unexpected.’

Horwill agreed with Mooney’s observation that he had modified his approach this year to help him stay on the right side of the referees.

‘Discipline is something I have worked on this year ‘ learning to harness my aggression rather than just going out there headless.’

The QR Reds selectors have brought in loosehead prop Ben Coutts to replace Wallaby Greg Holmes, who underwent surgery last week to have a bone fragment removed from his knee.

2006 fullback Clinton Schifcofske resumes the custodian role in the absence of Latham (knee) and scrumhalf Ben Lucas again slots in for Cordingley. Brando Va’aulu, who scored two tries against the Cheetahs in the Reds’ final game in South Africa when he came on as a replacement for Latham, retains his wing spot.

On the bench, veteran back Andrew Walker has been recalled to the 22 after a stint with the Australian Sevens team.

The Reds team is (from fullback):

Clinton Schifcofske, Brando Va’aulu, Morgan Turinui, Berrick Barnes, Peter Hynes, Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas, Leroy Houston, David Croft, John Roe, James Horwill (c), Van Humphries, Dayna Edwards, Stephen Moore, Ben Coutts.

Reserves: Sean Hardman, Rodney Blake, Ed O’Donoghue, Poutasi Luafutu, Will Genia, Andrew Walker, Charlie Fetoai.

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