‘Horwill’s Wallaby return deserved’ – Slipper

Date published: May 26 2016

Former captain James Horwill's omission from last year's Wallabies World Cup squad had many thinking it was the end of the lock's international career.

So it was a surprise to many to see Horwill's name in the 39-man training squad named by coach Michael Cheika on Thursday ahead of next month's Test series against England.

Horwill's form with English club Harlequins since his World Cup disappointment made him impossible to ignore for Cheika.

Queensland Reds captain James Slipper says his former team-mate has shown the strength of his character to get himself back into the Wallabies frame.

"It's great to see he's back," said Slipper, also a member of the 39-man squad.

"Sometimes missing a World Cup can really hurt and I'm sure it really hurt Kevvie, but that's testament to the type of bloke he is, he just kept working and putting his head down and playing good rugby.

"Cheik's rewarded that. We're all pretty excited about that."

Horwill's time in England may also bring a bit of inside knowledge on next month's opponents, something Slipper is sure the Australians will be keen to exploit.

"Hopefully he's got a few tips on how to take them on," added Slipper.

"He's a player who plays with his heart on his sleeve and always puts 100 per cent in for his country.

"He's earned this call-up to the squad, been playing great rugby and it's good to see him back."