Keen to make up for lost time from his career’s most frustrating injury, Queensland captain James Horwill wants to play in the Reds’ clash with the British and Irish Lions and does not believe a “blanket ban” should be thrown on Wallabies players for the tour match.

Horwill’s first priority is ditching “Team Rehab” and running out for the Reds in their final pre-season trial against the Chiefs on the Sunshine Coast on Friday.

It will end a frustrating eight-month battle with a hamstring tear suffered against the ACT Brumbies last May.

However, Horwill admitted he also had the visiting Lions in his sights despite the Reds being tipped to rest their Wallabies stars in the June 8 tour match.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has indicated he would prefer a long camp build-up to the Lions series, ensuring representative stars would be withdrawn from Australian Super Rugby franchises ahead of the series opener on June 22 at Suncorp Stadium.

But Horwill hoped Wallabies players’ availability was assessed on an individual basis ahead of Lions tour clashes.

The Lions play five matches in Australia leading into the Test series, including two with their full-strength side – against the Reds and NSW Waratahs (June 15).

“You would love to play against the Lions but that’s something you have to weight up on an individual basis, how they are feeling and how much football they have played,” Horwill said on Tuesday.

“I don’t think you can have a blanket rule, that would make it tough for players.

“There’s obviously guys who may not have played a lot of footy and would love the chance.

“Me, personally I would love the opportunity to play for Queensland against the Lions.

“But that’s a bridge you’ve got to cross when you come to it. There’s a lot of rugby before then.”

In the meantime, Horwill is simply relieved to be back in Reds colours as he counts down to their Super Rugby season opener against the Brumbies on February 16 in Canberra.

“Unfortunately I have been through a number of long term injuries and this has definitely been the most frustrating due to the uncertainty about the injury,” he said.

“It has been a guessing game because initially no one knew how exactly how to handle it.

“You just have to keep pushing through and I am glad to be out on the other end.

“But it feels good. I am ready to go.”

Horwill will be welcomed back into the Reds line-up on Friday night along with fellow new faces Saia Faingaa, Jake Schatz, Dom Shipperly and Chris F’Sautia while lock Rob Simmons is back after serving a five game ban.

The only unexpected omission was Wallaby Radike Samo (knee).

Scans will assess this week whether he is in doubt for the season opener.

Meanwhile, Jono Lance will slot into five-eighth for Quade Cooper who makes his boxing debut in Brisbane on the same night.

© AAP 2018

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The Crowd Says (23)

  • February 6th 2013 @ 6:43am
    Justin2 said | February 6th 2013 @ 6:43am | ! Report

    The Aussies should have played a warm up match. They have missed an opportunity, especially if, as I suspect, deans gets his wish to have players for 3 weeks.

  • February 6th 2013 @ 8:39am
    Gussy Boi said | February 6th 2013 @ 8:39am | ! Report

    This situation has been a mess, partly due to players and franchises, manily Reds, speaking against the ARU’s ruling of a blanket rule and an extended Wallaby camp.

    Priority should be Wallabies, end of argument. Twelve years ago when the Lions toured, franchises played the Lions with Wallaby depleted outfits, and the games were crackers, Brumbies and Waratahs putting up massive efforts, even NSW Country had a good crack.

    These games give other/younger players chances to stand up against class opposition and allows Wallabies to suitably prepare.

    Brumbies being grumpy because they have to play the Rebels without their Wallabies, they’re all in the same boat, Rebels minus Higginbotham, Beale and O’Connor would seem alright if I was a Brumby. Quit the whinging and get on with it.

    • February 6th 2013 @ 11:38am
      Bakkies said | February 6th 2013 @ 11:38am | ! Report

      ”Priority should be Wallabies, end of argument. Twelve years ago when the Lions toured, franchises played the Lions with Wallaby depleted outfits, and the games were crackers”

      No they weren’t. The Brumbies and the Aus A matches were the only good games. The Waratahs were disgraceful against the Lions particularly Bob Dwyer and Duncan McRae in their behaviour. Bowman got carded in the first 10 seconds of the match. Maybe if the Tahs concentrated on playing Rugby that night they would of got closer to the Lions. The Reds match was just an opposed training session for the Lions. I can understand the Queensland position as they want to fill Suncorp for the match. Their union is on a roll and they know that they don’t have the depth in reserve players to beat the Lions (you only have to look at their results when they had a load of injuries last season).

      • February 6th 2013 @ 11:59am
        Gussy Boi said | February 6th 2013 @ 11:59am | ! Report

        So you don’t admire a bunch of amateurs of NSW country having a go at fully fledged internationals? Admittedly they didn’t come close to winning, but it wasn’t one way traffic.

        Lions were hardly well behaved either with two in the bin. My point is, the Waratahs, NSW Country and Brumbies stuck it to the Lions and gave it a crack which made for entertaining rugby.

        The Wallabies are going to struggle enough as it is beating them, so to put the province game as preferential is ludicrous. Can anyone recall how many people went and watched the Reds last time the Lions were here? I’m sure majority of people could remember who won the Series ahead of the crowd figures for a provincial game.

        I would be extremely surprised if Suncorp is not near capacity regardless of who is their line up, given the majority will be Lions supporters anyway,

        • February 6th 2013 @ 12:13pm
          Bakkies said | February 6th 2013 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

          The Lions beat Queensland 43-6 in 2001 in front of 18,000 fans. It was a weak Qld side and the Reds were doing well back then too. Their full strength side was much better then the Reds side that won the Super 15 in 2011.

          The Wallabies players are more likely going to get injured playing Super Rugby and in training at Wallabies camp, which is what happened last year.

          • February 6th 2013 @ 12:26pm
            Gussy Boi said | February 6th 2013 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

            Thank you for confirming 18,000, coincidently the capacity of Ballymore. I’m sure if it was bigger they would have had a bigger crowd. And the score was 42-8.

            More likely to get injured in Super rugby and Wallabies training camp, ow else are they going to get injured?

            • February 6th 2013 @ 9:17pm
              Bakkies said | February 6th 2013 @ 9:17pm | ! Report

              It proves that there is no more risk for them playing a match for their contracted state against the Lions. They aren’t learning anything by being in the Wallabies camp so why not play a game of Rugby. Deans is happy to let them play park Rugby on rubbish pitches that have little grass on them by why not against the Lions?

  • February 6th 2013 @ 8:55am
    Sam Starr said | February 6th 2013 @ 8:55am | ! Report

    I agree we need to rest players and put the wallabies first cause if we end up with an injury crisis before the Lions series
    its gonna be a long one.We need the best team possible to have any chance of winning it.

  • February 6th 2013 @ 9:58am
    Roscoe said | February 6th 2013 @ 9:58am | ! Report

    Agree a warm up Test would have made sense. Samoa would be after another upset while Fiji hasn’t been here for a while. Japan?

  • February 6th 2013 @ 10:23am
    bill said | February 6th 2013 @ 10:23am | ! Report

    Horwill is right. Some players will benefit from being rested, others will benefit from match time. I think assess it on an individual basis.

    • February 6th 2013 @ 12:26pm
      Amateur Hour said | February 6th 2013 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

      This sounds sensible to me. Assess things on an individual basis, however, an official line that all players must be rested might work best and then a few exceptions can be made at the right time. Otherwise it could open the flood gates to players/coaches demanding that they be allowed to play.

      On the Wallabies v States argument, surely what the Wallabies say should go and the States should fall into line. Could you picture it any other way over the ditch? The AB’s coach’s words is chiselled in stone and read from a mountain top. No dissention.

      • February 6th 2013 @ 12:42pm
        formeropenside said | February 6th 2013 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

        yeah, and aping the AB’s by appointing a Kiwi coach has proved such a winning strategy.

        The ARU should stay out of the way.

  • February 6th 2013 @ 12:24pm
    RedsNut said | February 6th 2013 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

    But three weeks??

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