Representative Honours: Australia Sevens 2008, Australia Under-20s 2008-2009, Australian Wallabies 2009-
Senior Tours: Japan & Europe 2009, RWC (New Zealand) 2011, England & Wales 2011
Such was the level of his promise, ROB HORNE was just 18-years-old when he made the Waratahs in his first year out of school five-seasons ago, scoring a try in his run on debut against the Western Force in Perth.
He has come a long way since then, most recently when called into the 2013 British and Irish Lions Tour after Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane and Berrick Barnes were all ruled out to injury.
He came into the game in the 77th minute for Adam Ashley Cooper to record his 15th Wallaby cap but the second Lions Tour fixture was the only international Test he played in 2013.
In 2014, he is back in the Wallabies mix due to his solid defense and blistering attack in his sixth season for the NSW Waratahs.
Supplier of two of the five tries Australia scored during last year’s June series win over 2012 Six Nations Champions Wales, Horne has endured frustration since. This is due to a pair of hamstring injuries, which both terminated the remainder of his 2012 season, while also forcing a late entry to Super Rugby for 2013.
The first injury was sustained playing Club Rugby for Southern Districts back in Sydney, after having been released from the Qantas Wallabies squad that was playing South Africa in Perth that weekend. Horne had earlier appeared in the opening two matches of The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship, back-to-back against the All Blacks, with his 2012 performance indicating continued growth as a Test performer.
First included in the Qantas Wallabies four seasons ago, after he had made the 2009 Spring Tour squad but been forced to return home from Tokyo prior to the first game due to a training injury; Horne managed six Test appearances during his opening season before being rubbed out by an elbow tendon injury. This resurfaced the following year during Super Rugby, forcing Horne out of Australia’s victorious Tri Nations run, although he made it back in time to show courage at his maiden Rugby World Cup.
The NSW Waratahs midfielder endured the misfortune of sustaining a facial fracture in the opening collision of his tournament debut, playing at inside centre against the United States, yet played on courageously for the first 47 minutes of the game, scoring the opening try of the Test. Fortunately he was able to remain with the squad in New Zealand, making it back in time for the tournament play-offs where he underlined his value with 18 minutes off the bench in the semi-final against New Zealand, and then 71 minutes of the Bronze Medal final against Wales. He replaced an injured Kurtley Beale nine minutes into the latter match and played a key role defensively in the eventual 21-18 victory which secured for the Wallabies third place at the tournament.
Inclusion on Australia’s brief Spring Tour followed, where Horne scored a try during the Wallabies’ 60-11 pounding of the Barbarians at Twickenham.
The courage Horne showed in overcoming the facial fracture, and bouncing back so quickly, is a trait which has already served him exceedingly well through a career punctuated by unfortunate injury breaks. The latest hamstring trouble has provided Horne with the challenge of fighting his way back into the Test side for the fourth time after an injury break.
The Waratahs made the Super Rugby final during Horne’s first season, which provided a spring board for the newcomer to go on to represent Australia in both Sevens and at the Under-20 World Cup later that same year. He attended a second Under-20 World Cup the following season, ominously having to return home from the second event due to a hamstring strain.