Rob Horne is about to trade Australia for England but he’d be happy to see his Wallabies teammate Drew Mitchell back on the Waratahs wing.
Horne has signed a three-year deal with UK Premiership side the Northampton Saints, effectively ending his Test career, 27 Tests short of the 60 needed to remain eligible overseas.
His departure does leave the Waratahs with a possible opening in their backline for 2018 and with Mitchell open about his desire to return to Australia, the Waratahs could be his destination.
Horne said the winger would be an asset to a Super Rugby side.
“I don't make those decisions but it'd be great to have someone of his quality back in Australian rugby because he's a fantastic player and proven player and he can impart a lot of knowledge on the guys here,” he said.
“It would be great to see him back in the sky blue.” - Rob Horne
The 27-year-old said the decision to join Northampton wasn’t an easy one, with the knowledge that he wouldn’t feature
Injury hampered his 2016, with a shoulder reconstruction ending his Test season, but Horne was still considered a wanted Wallabies player.
Ultimately the Waratahs veteran decided the benefits of a fresh start were too large, though.
“I sat down with Cheik and we had a good long conversation across a lot of things so it obviously makes the decision more difficult,” he said.
“I went away and weighed everything up and for me personally it's the right time for me to go and have a different rugby experience and I'm looking forward to that.
“First and foremost I've got a big year ahead here at the Waratahs and I'm looking forward to playing good rugby here and seeing where that leads me.” - Rob Horne
Horne said he wouldn’t be distracted by the knowledge that his time at the Waratahs was running out.
“I haven't thought too much about it,” he said.
“No doubt towards the back end I'll probably get a bit nostalgic but trying to stay process-driven here and that way we can achieve the things we want to achieve.”