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Rob Horne moves on from injury-riddled past to forge new Wallabies path


Recalled Wallaby Rob Horne wants to move on from his injury-troubled past to forge a new path as a Test winger and is determined to make the most of his chance at Twickenham.

Horne has rebuilt himself after a six-year career plagued by injuries to be able to complete a full spring tour of Europe for the first time.

Beating England at the home of rugby would be the perfect way to end a year that has included a Super Rugby title with the NSW Waratahs and a match-winning try against South Africa in Perth.

Horne had major hamstring injuries in 2011, 2012 and 2013. But a new position has brought success and 24-Test winger Horne is relishing his new role.

“It’s been a great year for me footy-wise and it was an incredible journey with NSW … being healthy has been incredible,” Horne said.

“I’ve loved every moment of it, there have been some tough times clearly, but this tour has been great. I’ve done enough talking about being injured.

“Unfortunately my first couple of years I picked up a few [injuries] but the last couple of years I’ve been healthy all the way through.

“It’s a combination of things, one is my fitness that’s improved and that’s helped with soft tissue [problems]. I feel confident in my body for the first time in a long time.

“It’s easier preparing for a game when you’re just thinking about that as opposed to thinking about your body.”

Horne will form a back-field combination with Israel Folau and Henry Speight as the Wallabies attempt to avoid three consecutive losses to finish their tour of Europe.

Horne was on the bench for Tests against Wales and France, but was left out of the squad to play Ireland last weekend.

The Wallabies are expecting a bombing raid from England and they’ll avoid the high-flying Folau. That means Horne, Speight and five-eighth Bernard Foley are prepared for an ambush.

The Waratahs used a high-tempo attacking style on their way to winning a Super Rugby title, running the ball from almost any position on the field.

Coach Michael Cheika has given the Wallabies’ backs the same freedom, but Horne says the margin for error is smaller.

“They’ll test us [in the air], but if they want to give us the ball we’ll take it,” Horne said. “There are a few parametres, but it’s about playing the game and problem solving. Our identity, we want to be a smart, physical team.

“Hopefully we’re laying the foundations … There’s differences [to the Waratahs] and that’s exciting.

“The defence in international rugby is stronger than Super footy. We have to keep evolving or there’s no point. It’s a step up in all facets.”

Wallabies great David Campese was at training in London on Thursday as the team turned up the intensity for their last session at the end of the tour.

Prop Ben Alexander had blood flowing from a cut above his eye following a full contact lineout session and players didn’t hold back.

Wallabies lock Rob Simmons will play his 50th Test for Australia, but in four spring tours Simmons has never played against England at Twickenham.

“I’ve been on the tour three times and I’ve either been injured or not picked [to play against England],” Simmons said.

“It’s something I’ve got to get my head around … it’s quite a big stadium and well known around the world. You do have to prepare for it with the crowd playing a part.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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