Waratahs and Wallabies utility back Rob Horne has ended speculation about his playing future by extending his stay with the Sydney-based franchise for another two years.
The deal, signed overnight with the Australian Rugby Union will see Horne remain with Australian Rugby Union until the end of 2017.
For the 25-year-old, the announcement caps off arguably one of his most impressive seasons both in Super Rugby and at Test level, after a number of years marred by injury.
Horne has earned 73 caps for the Waratahs since he debuted for the side in 2008.
His seventh season with the Sydneysiders in 2015 is shaping up to be a big one for Horne, with the Waratahs’ bid to retain the Super Rugby title kicking off on the 14 February and the chance to play for the Wallabies in the 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign later in the year.
“The opportunity to play for New South Wales and represent my state has been a huge honour, and I’m looking forward to creating many more cherished memories at the Waratahs,” said Horne.
“The experience of last season and the outpouring of support from all NSW rugby supporters was incredible, and something I hope we can continue to grow.”
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika welcomed Horne’s decision to remain with the franchise and Australian rugby for another two years.
“Rob’s been an invaluable asset to the Waratahs over the last two years since I’ve had the pleasure of coaching him,” said Cheika.
“The next two years of his career here will see him become a real leader within our squad. We are really pleased that he will continue playing his rugby in the sky blue jersey.”
Blessed with pace and known as a hard-running, uncompromising outside-centre, Horne revelled in the ball-in-hand, running style of rugby that became the Waratahs trademark in 2014.
A suggestion by Waratahs coach Michael Cheika to shift from centres to the wing at the beginning of last season allowed Horne to show his versatility in the back-line.
His combination of attacking play on the wing and his strong defence proved an invaluable asset in the Waratahs arsenal in 2014.
Showing impressive skills from an early age, Horne debuted with the NSW Waratahs against the ACT Brumbies as an 18 year old.
That same year the former Australian Schoolboys and Southern Districts Rugby junior also represented Australia in Sevens and in the Australian U20s’ World Cup campaign of that year.
His obvious talents were rewarded in 2009 when he was selected in the Wallabies squad, making his test debut a year later against Fiji. Horne has earned 25 caps representing Australia.