Horwill to lead Reds touring squad

11th May 2013, 07:40

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Back from injury: James Horwill

Back from injury: James Horwill

Reds captain James Horwill will return from injury to lead a 26-man squad during their upcoming two-game tour of South Africa.

Reds captain James Horwill will return from injury to lead a 26-man squad during their upcoming two-game tour of South Africa.

Horwill missed the Reds' 32-17 victory over the Sharks on Friday with a jaw injury but will travel with the team to South Africa on Sunday morning in a major boost ahead of matches against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein and Stormers in Cape Town.

He will replace lock Adam Wallace-Harrison in an extended touring group which includes five new faces from the one which defeated the Sharks in Brisbane - the Reds first against their Durban-based rivals since 2009 and first in the Ewen McKenzie era.

The new additions include Horwill, prop Ben Daley, back-rower Radike Samo, scrum-half Nick Frisby and wing Luke Morahan.

The Reds will commence their tour just one competition point behind the current tabletoppers, the Brumbies, and with an opportunity to continue their strong 2013 form against international opposition, which currently sits at six wins and no losses.

The four-tries-to-two triumph over the Sharks was their second against South African opposition this year following an earlier victory over the Bulls, while the Reds this year also became the first Australian team in Super Rugby history to sweep their New Zealand opponents in one season.

The Reds have enjoyed mixed results in South Africa over the past two seasons with the elation of toppling both the Stormers and Lions during their championship-winning season of 2011 unable to be matched with losses to the Bulls and Sharks in 2012.

"We weren't happy with how we performed in South Africa last season but we're in a completely different space this time round and are really looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Republic," Reds director of coaching Ewen McKenzie said.

"For us, it won't be a case of wanting to make amends for last year but more about ensuring we leave South Africa having set ourselves up nicely leading into the June Test window.

"With only three games left until we break for the Lions series, now is a time we need to be playing our best Rugby and we'll take plenty of confidence from last night's win over the Sharks."

Following their tour of South Africa, the Reds will return to Australia to take on the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday 1 June.

Reds touring Squad
(Forwards): Albert Anae, Jarrad Butler, Ben Daley, Saia Faingaa, Liam Gill, James Hanson, Greg Holmes, James Horwill (c), Ed O'Donoghue, Eddie Quirk, Beau Robinson, Radike Samo, Jake Schatz, Rob Simmons, James Slipper.
(Backs): Quade Cooper, Rod Davies, Anthony Faingaa, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Nick Frisby, Will Genia (vc), Digby Ioane, Jono Lance, Ben Lucas, Luke Morahan, Ben Tapuai.