Horwill answers Reds’ SOS

Date published: April 13 2015

Veteran Reds lock James Horwill is flying to Bloemfontein to join the Brisbane-based side for Saturday's clash with the Cheetahs.

Horwill was left out of the Reds' 27-man touring squad for their trip to South Africa after he was banned for a week when he was sent off in their clash against the Rebels in Round Eight.

But he was summoned to fly to South Africa as a replacement for lock Dave McDuling who was injured in the Reds' 43-22 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

Horwill's red card against the Rebels was his second dismissal of the season – he also received his marching orders in the Round One clash with the Brumbies – and after that indiscretion there was speculation that he was left out of the original squad to South Africa because he was out of favour with coach Richard Graham.

Graham clarified that was not the case but revealed that he originally left Horwill at home because the player would limit the side's capacity to train and play because he was suspended.

"Of course I was disappointed with him," Graham told AAP.

"I spoke to him but I didn't have to speak at length or anything. He knew what he'd done.

"There is no bloke more disappointed or more gutted than himself.

"He's played enough rugby to know he put the team under pressure.

"He's bled for the joint, he cares passionately about the joint."