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Horwill keen to win back captaincy

13th November 2013 13:25

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SKY_MOBILE James Horwill

Disappointed: James Horwill

Wallabies lock James Horwill revealed his axing as the team's skipper caught him by surprise and he admits he wants the job back.

He said he was disappointed by Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie's decision to strip him of the captaincy although he concedes that his form was an issue.

Horwill, who captained Australia 16 times after taking over from Rocky Elsom shortly before the 2011 World Cup, was replaced in the leadership role by back-row Ben Mowen before the 20-13 defeat to England two weeks ago.

"I'm not going to hide the fact I was disappointed," Horwill told AAP.

"I love what I do and I love being captain of my country.

"(But) captaining is always about the team and that's the way you have to look at it."

Horwill admits to being guilty of worrying too much over the team's problems, instead of his own game, during the Wallabies' 2-1 series defeat to the British and Irish Lions and then winning just two out of seven Tests since McKenzie replaced Robbie Deans as the team's coach.

"I knew myself I wasn't happy with the way I'd been playing but I guess you can look at it in that sense (being stripped) has given me the opportunity to worry about myself a little bit more," he said.

"I think maybe my focus did go away from myself individually and I was more focused on 'what can I do to get the team going'.

"I hate losing. Maybe that was the thing.

"I might reflect that there were things I could have done differently.

"It's allowed me to be selfish in my preparations and worry about the way I need to prepare physically and mentally to get right to play."

Horwill, who is preparing for Saturday's Test against Ireland in Dublin, is adamant he wants to lead Australia again.

"I'd love to captain the country again," he said.

"I take great pride and put a lot of effort into doing it.

"It's not something I take lightly. It's a huge responsibility and something I did enjoy doing.

"That's not the priority. My priority is to get my form back and win for the team."

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