One Percenters: Rousing day at Twickers for Rob

by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

A huge crowd to honour Rob Horne at Twickenham, a coaching power couple in Queensland and Australia's Invictus wheelchair rugby team in fine form. It's all in One Percenters. 

Rousing day for Rob

There were emotional scenes at Twickenham on the weekend when Northampton and Leicester dedicated their clash to Wallabies centre Rob Horne.

A crowd of 40,103 attended the Testimonial match, which raised a bunch of money to help Horne and his family in the future after his forced retirement  due to a severe injury earlier this year.

Horne suffered paralysis in his left arm after a major nerve avulsion.


Horne is a naturally reserved guy and yet again showed his class in being a somewhat uncomfortable centre of attention at Twickenham, and in the days leading up to the event. 

The tough Sydneysider didn't want any fuss made about his testimonial at home but good mate and RUPA president Damien Fitzpatrick jumped on a plane  and flew to London to be there for Horne. 

Well played Rob - great career and now for the next chapter.

Winning is a Virtue

It's been some week for the Virtue household.

The Moana Virtue-coached Griffith University went back-to-back for the first time in the Aon Uni sevens at the weekend, claiming the Gold Coast leg after they'd triumphed in Brisbane two weeks ago and establishing a lead in the overall series with one  round to go.

The former Wallaroo wasn't the only one bringing silverware home, though.

Husband Damon Virtue, the rising Sunnybank coach, took the Brisbane City under 19s to a title in the inaugural Under 19 Rugby Championships in Canberra last week.

Now that's coaching power couple.

Second hand score

Speaking of power couples, Maria Folau helped out a young fan of her man with a touching gesture on Twitter.

A mum searching for some info on how to buy an Israel Folau replica shirt in the UK was shocked when Maria Folau said she'd be happy to send one of the real ones.


Knowing how much kit footy players get, the star Kiwi netballer was probably happy to clear out the spare room a bit.

Invictus team shines at nationals

 Congratulations to the Queensland Cyclones, who took out the Australian Wheelchair Rugby Championships at Penrith on Sunday.

The Queenslanders proved too strong for Victoria, who'd pulled off a major upset by beating the NSW Gladiators in their semi-final.

But, apart from the Cyclones' win in the final, perhaps the big achievement was the results of the Australian Invictus side, who were playing in the nationals for the first time.

The Invictus team warmed up for the Invictus Games later this month wonderfully by knocking off NSW, Queensland and Victoria in the pool stages.

They were beat by Queensland in the knock-out stage but it will no doubt give them plenty of confidence for the Invictus Games.

Cheika backs ref move

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika isn't always of the same view as the referees but he certainly backed the recent move to trial a reduction in the use of the TMO.

World Rugby announced last week that they would trial in November a lessening of the TMO's powers, handing responsibility back to the on-field referee.

"The ref is the man who is in charge of the game no matter what the situations are, the refs the go-to. I think that's the way it should be," Cheika said.

TMO soaks up Salta

Speaking of TMOs, English official David Grasshoff showed he was keen to embrace the Argentinian culture in Salta this week.

Grashoff, who was the TMO for Sunday morning's Test between the Wallabies and Argentina, was spotted by some travelling Australians on a local walking tour.

You certainly can't accuse him of a lack of research when it comes to a new city, that's for sure. 

Fans' Choice

 Wallabies fans are being asked to vote for their favourite player ahead of the Rugby Australia awards night on October 19. 

The John Eales medal is the big ticket item at the annual awards shin-dig but the Qantas Wallabies players choice award is always valued by the winner.


Michael Hooper won in 2017, and David Pocock, Israel Folau and Will Genia are past winners.

Fans can find the voting details on the Wallabies social media channels.