Horrell ready to shine at 10

Date published: June 19 2015

Chiefs utility back Andrew Horrell's value to the Hamilton-based outfit was highlighted when he was picked at fly-half for Saturday's clash with the Highlanders.

The showdown in Dunedin is the first qualifier of the Finals Series and Horrell admitted he revels in the confidence shown in his ability by Chiefs boss Dave Rennie. 

"It's huge, eh," he told Fairfax Media.

"Especially Renns, because obviously I owe a lot to him as his faith in me has got me to where I am at the moment." 

Horrell will make his 50th appearance for the Chiefs this weekend. While he has played in 13 of the Chiefs' 16 matches this season, this will only be his second start at fly-half.

He came off the bench when first-choice number 10 Aaron Cruden sustained a serious knee injury against the Crusaders in Christchurch in April, but it was the McKenzie brothers, Marty and Damian, who have played most in the crucial pivot position since then.

But Horrell has been given the responsibilty of steering the Chiefs' ship in Dunedin and he is ready for what promises to be a stern examination.

"Obviously I'm happy to take the challenge on," he added.

"Marty's done a good job but obviously coaches being coaches they love to chop and change and I'm pretty happy with the decision."

Horrell knows what is expected from him against the Highlanders.

"Just do my job for the team and making sure I don't hit too many rucks like a 12; making sure I'm directing the boys around – those are the key ones where I can help this team out," he said.

He forms a new combination with captain Liam Messam at number eight and Brad Weber at scrum-half but the trio have worked hard together in training.

"We've all played there in different parts of the year and it's just making sure we all know our roles and that we do them on Saturday."