Horwill still hopes for Wallabies call-up

Former Wallabies skipper James Horwill has not given up hope of representing the national team beyond this year despite twice missing the boat for World Cup selection.

A shock exclusion from coach Michael Cheika’s original 31-man squad, the former Queensland Reds great has instead commenced training with his new team Harlequins in London, where he has been for the past two weeks.

The 30-year-old was again overlooked following a tournament-ending injury to lock Will Skelton (pectoral), with Cheika instead opting for Sam Carter as a replacement instead.

But with 61 Test caps to his name, Horwill remains eligibility for a Wallabies call-up at any time despite his new overseas base – and he said he still harbours ambitions to pull on the green and gold jersey, should the opportunity ever present itself again.

“It’s always something that I’d love to do,” Horwill told the Reds website.

“If that ever came again, I certainly haven’t ruled out the opportunity to play for my country.

“I love every time I have done that and it’s certainly meant a lot to me.

“My focus is here playing well with ‘Quins and performing well and hopefully winning some silverware here and then we’ll let the other stuff look after itself.”

Horwill said he never got his hopes up about a late call-up when Skelton suffered his injury in last weekend’s win over Uruguay.

“Before the tournament started Cheika had told me who I was covering for essentially and Will wasn’t one of those players, so I had a fair idea that wouldn’t be the case,” Horwill said.

“It’s disappointing for Will that he’s had an injury and had to go home, but it’s great for Sam that he’s got the opportunity to play in a World Cup.

“You’d love the opportunity if one came.”

Horwill tipped his former Wallabies teammates to edge England in this weekend’s blockbuster at Twickenham Stadium, a result which would knock the hosts out of World Cup contention.

“Looking at the way the tournament has gone, I think this will come down to some small margins,” he said.

“Obviously England had the disappointment last week and Australia, I think, have been building very nicely.

“England v Australia is a huge game. I expect (Australia) to get the job done against England.”

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